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“This is a breakup record. Two of the songs were written on a Wednesday, and by Friday I was getting divorced,” singer-songwriter Elijah Tucker says. His words reveal the inner struggle and ultimate salvation that fueled his sophomore record, Saturn, released October 11, 2012.
The heart of the record is the pining soul-jazz ballad “Kicking Snow.” It’s an emotive, late-night simmering confessional of fading love. “That song tells the story of the frustration and loneliness I felt when I realized I’d taken a step I wasn’t ready for,” he explains. “The day I got married, it was cold outside, and I found myself walking down the street kicking snow, wondering ‘what the %&@ did I just do?!’” He plaintively sings: “And I’m alone, and nowhere is home/And I’m on the street, angry and Kicking Snow.” Here, Tucker’s Broadway-robust voice is raw but restrained with nuanced emotionality. The arrangement, though vintage in spirit, is innovatively organized. The revelatory instrumental break in the bridge features a unison melody played by a unique combination of acoustic and electric guitar, flute and tenor saxophone.
Tucker grew up equally proficient on drums and guitar. He devoted the beginning of his career to drumming in the jam band scene (he remains a big Phish fan), cutting his teeth in many sweaty funk ensembles before turning his attention to his guitar playing, singing, and songwriting. He has been praised for his diverse musicality. Phish lyricist Tom Marshall has praised Tucker’s voice and orchestration. Gary Goldberg, (DJ, WRPI Albany), has toasted Tucker’s songwriting, enthusing: “Beautiful, crystal clear and strong—hard to pick a favorite.”