Athens Georgia local artist Elijah Johnston, who may be known to listeners as a member of Drew Beskin and the Sunshine, is set to release his debut long player, ‘Day Off’, on August 4. His new single, ‘Molly Haskell’, is from the album.
With his black rimmed specs, strummed guitar playing the hook-laden sound of the past, accompanied by light vocals, Elijah Johnston could well be a ringer for Buddy Holly; the musical style of ‘Molly Haskell’ also harks back to that innocent age of pre-60s rock and roll. The song conjures up images of school dances, with a live band playing music and the lead singer from time to time catching the eyes of pretty girls in the crowd.
Beyond all that, the track is a deeply evocative song, with Johnston painting a picture with his lyrics:
Ice skating, I wish you were here
Brand new beanie sitting on your ears
Watch your breathing as it floats up next to mine
There’s cobwebs covering all the heartstrings that I have
I’m cynical enough to know when I should be glad
It’s not so hard to tell you all the feelings I have
It’s not something I should run away from
It’s a story of infatuation – and possibly lost or unrequited love: it’s poetry set to music, and it’s gorgeous, if heart-wrenching.
Johnston has built up a reputation playing live across the region, sharing the stage with the likes of Susto and The Pink Stones, and he’s picked up a loyal fanbase as the result.
‘Molly Haskell’ has earned Elijah Johnson the Vic Chesnutt Songwriter of the Year Award for 2022, ensuring his trajectory to the very top of songwriters from Athens’ already considerable music scene.