Jon Middleton and Sierra Lundy are Ocie Elliott. A chance café encounter changed everything, igniting the spark that led to their inevitable artistic partnership. In less than five years since, the duo have put out two LPS, one EP, and many singles whilst touring Canada, the United States, and Europe. They’ve shared stages with Mason Jennings, Kim Churchill, Roo Panes, and others, all while developing a heartfelt subtlety in their music that begets the few years that they’ve been making it.
Now, Ocie Elliott are due for another EP release, A Place, this Friday, 27 August. The folk duo create another collection of sweetly understated music. Picturesque lyricism and a no-nonsense acoustic delivery bring to mind names like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Throughout these four songs—“Wait for You”, “Like a River”, “Eyes Fall”, and “A Place”—there is no questioning Middleton and Lundy’s place amongst today’s folk echelon.
The EP’s title is inspired by nostalgic beauty, and they do well to craft a soundscape that feels like a calming walk past their favorite faded memories. It’s suitably insular and inward thinking for something mainly developed throughout 2020, with songs like the titular closer going all-in on the idea of a familiar space in one’s mind.
“Like a River” has the duo reflect on the passing of John Prine and the palpable feeling that the day he died evoked. It bears noting that their warm cadences can hold a convincing resemblance to Prine’s delivery, and it’s most evident on a song dedicated to the luminary. “Wait for You” and “Eyes Fall” feature soft, heartening, and intricate developments in their vocal harmonies, instrumentation, and production. All in all, the EP is another excellent inclusion in Ocie Elliott’s quickly growing catalogue.
Ocie Elliott tell PopMatters, “This EP was born of a variety of influences—the most significant being spring and summer spent at home instead of out on the road. There was a lot to be sad about, but also some positive reflection and insight that was gained. ‘A Place’ feels like an accurate summation of our emotional state during this time.”