Jesse Elliot, guitarist and lead songsmith for the Washington, D.C.-based folk rockers These United States, must be channeling his inner Ryan Adams; the band’s latest record, Everything Touches Everything, marks the group’s third release in under two years. And, true to the album’s moniker, Elliot and his mates gamely attempt to touch it all – musically speaking, at least – on the record’s 12 tracks.
The band genre-hops with great aplomb; from the guitar bombast of the disc opener “I Want You to Keep Everything” to the alt-country swagger and pedal steel of “Will It Ever” or Elliot’s best Robert Smith-esque moan of the title track, These United States are all over the map. And it works. The divergent sounds might be distracting to many – as if the bands has lost, or never found, its way – but I have found them to be incredibly interesting. With each listen, there is always something new, something previously unnoticed, that grabs the ear; the bob and weave of pedal steel and piano on “The Secret Door,” the building crescendo of synth loops and resonator guitar on “The Important Thing,” and the many subtle vocal variations offer an appreciated variety and prove that Everything Touches Everything is aptly named. Due to the sheer volume of Elliot’s songwriting, no sonic stone remains unturned.
Everything Touches Everything is out now on United Interests Records.