Listen: ‘Headfirst (It’s All Happening)’ by Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes

Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes is the sound life makes when it becomes ecstasy. It is the noise childhood makes when it surrenders to itself and becomes an ecstatic life. It is somehow simultaneously sweetness, energy, softness, and seduction. A strange alchemy that comes about in a town like Nashville — where they formed in 2010. It’s a place of internal Peter Pans. But there are a rare few who can be born from Nashville’s island of youth, insanity, and silliness only to survive and age into a continent of thirty-something honesty and humanity. DE+TGL is one of those rare few. Wise Lost Boys with a conscience, but still a thirsty, boyish spark. That is Daniel Ellsworth (lead vox, keys), Joel Wren (drums), Timon Lance (guitar), and Marshall Skinner (bass). A silky, organic monster made from the remnants of pop swagger, sunglasses, self-aware grown-up realism, road trips, anxiety, and just plain, pounding fun.

Their new album, Fashion, is due out fall 2018. It is to be released in three parts – Chapter One in winter 2018, Chapter Two in spring 2018, and the full album to follow — reflecting the process by which is was crafted. It was recorded over the course of a year at Elephant Lady Studios in Nashville, Tennessee – engineered, co-produced, and mixed by indie-pop-mastermind-and-wizard-like Kyle Andrews. DE+TGL was already no stranger to building big sounds with only four human players, but this album takes that tendency even further. The scope, the sweep, and the height of the sonic space they could reach being stretched more and more – as if it were a scientific experiment in how captivating, euphoric, and pounding pop can be. The lyrics themselves are grand, as well. Here we see themes of: a) growing older in a place and time that makes it easy not to, b) the impact, power, strength, beauty, and wisdom of the women in their lives, c) the apparently-breaking world, d) the apparently-thriving world, e) the inevitability of doubt, f) the inevitability of discovery, and g) the inevitability of death. All-in-all, life plus pop equals DE+TGL.