Elvis Depressedly will release their seventh full-length record, New Alhambra, next month, and today the Asheville-based duo shared a video for the record’s third single “Thou Shall Not Murder.” When I interviewed Elvis Depressedly back in March and premiered the single “Bruises (Amethyst),” Cothran commented that the song is about, “How we move through life and things that once either made us feel a lot of pain or a lot of joy kind of dull out and seem further away as we get older: being aware of how we’re decaying but not really being too defeated by it, just acknowledging that life is kind of a journey from one bright place to the next, in between long stretches of uncertainty.”
Although Cothran was referring to a specific song, this sentiment applies to the entirety of New Alhambra, a record that attempts to brighten those long stretches of uncertainty and does so exceedingly well. “Thou Shall Not Murder” is about betrayal, about making mistakes and the subsequent shame that comes with regrettable choices. The song’s accompanying video, directed by Micah Van Hove, is about going back on those decisions, and the struggle to maintain some of your innocence as you grow older. Van Hove commented on his personal attachment to Elvis Depressedly’s music:
Mat’s music has always made me think about death, but always through the lens of love. You’d be hard pressed to make it through a conversation with Mat or one of his albums without hearing a jubilant death wish, but I’ve always understood it as an expression of an overbearing feeling of love; a heart so heavy with love for this world and its people that the idea of death is merely a joke — a joke we tell our friends and lovers to keep them close, to remind them that the present is the most important gift we have.
For me, the words and melodies on New Alhambra are bathing in a sense of reclaimed innocence that compelled me to explore how a child internalizes the notion of death for the first time.
New Alhambra is out 5/12 via Run For Cover Records.