The distinctive and idiosyncratic New York cult band Elysian Fields have been a part of the city’s musical landscape since its early days. Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow are the writers who make up the critically-acclaimed band that formed in New York in 1995 and went on to develop a cult following of faithful fans around the world. After a dalliance with a major label for their first album in 1996, EF recorded their second full-length with Steve Albini, generating a response from the label that had the band asking to be released from their contract. They went on to forge a path outside of the mainstream, recording with a number of independent labels over the years, most recently releasing the evocative Ghosts of No in 2016. Jennifer and Oren are also known for their work outside of Elysian Fields, recording two albums of Sephardic diaspora music on John Zorn’s Tzadik label under the name La Mar Enfortuna. Jennifer was part of the supergroup Lovage along with Dan the Automator and Mike Patton, and has appeared as a guest on countless recordings, including those of French stars Jean-Louis Murat and Wax Tailor, and experimental composer JG Thirlwell. She has also maintained a career in theater alongside music, with leading roles in numerous Off-Broadway productions over the years. In 2016, she originated the part of the Girl Angel in Du-Yun’s opera Angel’s Bone, which went on to win the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Oren has served as a secret musical weapon for a host of artists, from Meshell Ndegeocello to Marina Abramović to Anohni. He was the bassist for the legendary New York band Lounge Lizards, and guitarist for the Original Broadway production of Fela! in 2010. Jennifer and Oren have also composed together for theater and dance pieces, and their music has appeared in television, film, and commercials around the world. Elysian Fields regularly tour in Europe, where their most loyal following can be found in France. They are “musicians’ musicians,” attracting esteemed players from around the world to sit in with their live sets. In 2015, they opened a music venue in Brooklyn called The Owl Music Parlor.
For this concert, they will be playing new material from their forthcoming album Pink Air, which was mixed by studio wunderkind Thomas Bartlett (The National, Sufjan Stevens). The new record (their 11th) is a post-apocalyptic rock & roll joyride, touching on themes as far-reaching as natural disasters and global warming, filled with infectious musical hooks and doses of humor and satire. Young studs Simon Hanes (bass), and Sam Levin (drums) round out the ensemble.
Photo Credit: Michael Lavine