ELKHART is a Dallas-based band made up of Travis Hopper, Michael Crowder, Jarad Brown, and Justin Bolin.
Their debut – THE MOON – was released October 21, 2008.
Guest musicians on THE MOON include Eric Pulido (Midlake), Kevin Minihan (Eastwood), Daniel Hopkins (Radiant), Salim Nourallah, and Rip Rowan.
THE MOON was recorded and mixed in Dallas, TX at Pleasantry Lane Studio with Salim Nourallah and Rip Rowan.
It was mastered in New Windsor, NY at West West Side Music by Alan Douches (Midlake, Sufjan Stevens, My Morning Jacket).
For the first time in my life, I thought constantly of home.
Not just of my family or my old neighborhood. Not just the schools or friends or particular trees that relax me after a long time away. I was consumed with the idea of home. The way that spending time with certain people or driving through town when the light is just right can make your heart beat slower.
The way that – if you’re lucky – you’ll catch yourself at a particular place in time, able to step away from your body, and realize you’re exactly where you’re need to be. That’s home. That’s the idea we wanted to explore.
Jeff Tweedy once said, “Back in your old neighborhood / Cigarettes taste so good.” He was right. Sometimes you need to be grounded in something old to get perspective on everything that’s new.
It was all I could think about for months. Night after night, I’d bring my iPod and notebook down to my front porch after work, cue up some music – usually something slow, and often Tom Petty’s song “Southern Accents” on repeat – and let my mind drift.
I thought a lot about Houston. About the dense, piney forests where I grew up and the beaches of Galveston where I spent many weekend nights. About the parts of town where the bilingual street signs offered an escape from the pressures of the day. I thought about the neighborhoods whose names I couldn’t remember after a decade away, the people who lived there, and the houses I saw clearly when I closed my eyes. Everything was so vivid.
I dreamt almost every night, and for more than a year, each dream was set in Houston. Often I’d wake up and scribble lines into the Moleskine I kept by the bed, only later to discover something I wrote in my sleep:
Crickets buzz like radio static / Every night when I go home
I can’t tune out the sound of feeling alone
The nine songs you hear on The Moon are the product of those thoughts. They’re the culmination of a week spent alone at a cabin in the country, away from cell phones and TV and life, with twelve months’ worth of lyrics taped to walls, a bank of song ideas on an iPod, and nothing to do but piece it all together.
They’re the sound of four guys who’ve played together in various bands around Dallas since 2001 stripping bare the influence of past projects and finding something new. Something innocent and true to themselves. They’re the ideas of home, the memories past and visions of what may be, the faces of friends and sketches burned into memory, the families that love us, and things sacrificed along the way, distilled into nine unhurried stories. Vignettes of the places we’ve been and paths we’ve carved. It’s the sound of growing up and of lessons learned.
Every now and again you get lucky and capture something fully formed. Something that arrives whole and documents a place in time long after it’s past. The Moon is one of those albums. It was a blessing to be a part of it.
Travis Hopper – October 21, 2008