Elliott Brood

Elliott BROOD – Ghost Gardens (album review)

by Woody on September 19, 2017


Photo: Trevor Weeks

I was trading texts with Oz (remember him) about this album. In response to his query to whether Ghost Gardens was any good, I answered with, “Really good. What you’ve come to expect from them.” And that is some great alt-country.

Ghost Gardens, the sixth LP by the Canadian trio has an interesting back story. The songs of Ghost Gardens were all born some 15 years ago. The demos and outlines of the tracks were recently found in an old suitcase in a garage. Soon enough Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin were breathing life into them to create another gem of an album.

The album is 11 tracks long and the boys do a nice of mixing things up throughout. The album opens with four upbeat BROOD tracks culminating in 2 4 6 8, a track that opens with a dark, foreboding banjo riff before exploding with punk energy. The track about a traumatic event that Sasso witnessed on TV as a kid is all over the place, constantly changing tempos with crunching guitars and Pitkin pounding away. It is as brilliant as anything they’ve done.

The albums slows a bit after that but the quality never does. Adeline is a wonderful and sparse track, almost lullaby-like. The Widower is a great track with some wonderful harmonies, Sasso sounds like he’s in the next room as his voice joins in with Laforet; making it even more poignant. For The Girl gently closes the proceedings with some tasty mando.

The boys have been a HearYa staple since we started this thing 10 years ago. Ghost Gardens is a great addition to their excellent catalog.

Our 2009 live session w/ Elliott BROOD is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Elliott BROOD is here



Photo: Trevor Weeks

We’re long-time fans of the Canadian trio, Elliott BROOD over here at HearYa. Their brand of rocking alt-country has struck a nerve with me on every one of their albums and their live shows are not to be missed. Ghost Gardens will be out on 9/15 via the fine folks at Paper Bag Records. Here’s some more info on the album.

Ghost Gardens’ title alludes to a phenomenon whereby the perennial gardens of houses and buildings having been abandoned or forgotten for years or even decades, continue to grow and reappear year after year, despite their original caretakers’ absence.

The road to Ghost Gardens began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs from early in the band’s career, nearly a decade and a half ago. The misplaced hard drive had long been forgotten in a garage sitting dormant in an old suitcase. The rediscovered recordings were demos and rough sketches of song lyrics and melody ideas. On Ghost Gardens, Elliott BROOD get to relive their past through a lens that is wiser both musically and lyrically.

Our 2009 live session w/ Elliott BROOD is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Elliott BROOD is here


Elliott BROOD – Work and Love [album review]

by Woody on October 21, 2014


The term Dad rock is consistently used a derogatory term. I’m a 44 year old father and I like to rock. I go to more shows than kids half my age, don’t watch The Voice and own red sneakers. So forgive me if I take offense at the term.

Work and Love has made an album about being that Dad. Inspired by a line from a Constantines song, “Work and love will make a man out of you,” Work and Love mines adult subjects such as relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror.

Bringing in an outside producer for the first time with Ian Blurton really paid dividends. The BROOD roots are still there but there certain subtle new touches that really come off. One of my favorite things throughout the whole album is the outro from Taken that segues into a wonderful intro for Mission Bell, complete with mariachi horns. Its a wonderful moment that reinforces the fact that the song order can really take an album up a notch.

While probably not their intention, Elliott BROOD wrote an album about my life. In fact, they wrote an album about any guy transitioning into that next phase of life – not knowing whether to cling on to the old phase or embrace the new one. It is absolutely brilliant and you should run, not walk to get it.

Our full session with Elliott BROOD from 2009 is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Elliott BROOD is here


Elliott BROOD recently released their first single from their upcoming album entitled Days Into Years. In case you weren’t paying attention to HearYa in December of ’09, we recorded a great live session with Elliott BROOD. We’ll keep you posted on the release of the upcoming album.

Elliott BROOD – Northern Air


Elliott Brood, Live Session #61

December 8, 2009

I have Hurricane Rick to thank for meeting Elliott Brood in studio. For the first time in a couple of years, the Mrs. and I found a cast of thousands (babysitters, ex-nanny, mother-in-law, etc. etc.) to cover for us for a getaway to Cabo. The storm emerged and delayed us for one day, which was […]

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Top 50 Albums of 2008 [Picks 31-40]

December 16, 2008

You may as well just make a playlist out of these picks‚  from our top 50 albums of 2008. Not only are these outstanding albums, but these singles are some of my favorites of the year. Most notable are the tracks posted for The John Henrys, The Heavy, Elliott BROOD, Horse Feathers, and The War […]

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Elliott BROOD – Mountain Meadows

November 24, 2008

Elliott BROOD is not a singer/songwriter. It’s a band. The band has no one with Elliott or Brood in their names. They play with banjos and ukuleles, but they aren’t country and don’t dare call them bluegrass. They are from Canada and they are rock and roll. Mountain Meadows grabs your attention immediately with “Fingers […]

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Elliott Brood and O’Death – The Empty Bottle, Chicago [Concert Review]

November 17, 2008

Normally when I review a show, I try not to get smashed. I have a couple of beers, take some notes and try to put something together that makes sense. O’Death is far from a normal band and I was far from sober. I took a look at my notes the next day and I […]

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