Music is therapy, but can it also be couple’s therapy? Musician couple Elsie and Mayhem were headed for divorce back in January 2020. Years of lack of communication, taking each other for granted, and mistrust infractions had eroded their bond.
Then the COVID-19 lockdown took hold and forced the pair to address their problems head-on, and, instead of getting divorced, they made an album that saved their marriage. Elsie and Mayhem’s debut album, It’s Only Rock and Roll Dust, available April 2, chronicles all the juicy details with visceral candor.
New Noise are proud to premiere It’s Only Rock and Roll Dust in full below:
The Portland, Oregon-based band features creatives with intriguing pedigrees. Mayhem (then known as Carl Hind) was the founding member, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter of ’90s alt-rock band Dandelion, a Columbia Records group best known for the single “Weird Out” which placed #14 on Billboard’s Modern Rock charts.
Mayhem was also a member of The Hell Yeahs and Blackheart Whitenoise. In addition, he’s expanded his musicality through composing music for theater, film, and commercial projects. Prior to forming Elise and Mayhem, Mayhem had paused his performing artist activities to dedicate time to being VP of Operations for the worldwide music franchise, School of Rock.
Elsie has spent her life on stage as a second-generation puppeteer and a performer. Elsie and Mayhem were joined in the studio by drummer Dano Capristo. Mayhem produced the album at the couple’s home workspace, Rabbit Hole Studios, and he contributed guitars, synth, percussion, vocals, and songwriting.
It’s Only Rock and Roll Dust hits a sweet-spot overlap of the couple’s favorite music. It’s a natural blend of sensibilities that evoke the dreamy textures of My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and Spiritualized; the vulnerable and poetic folk stylings of Joni Mitchell and Simon and Garfunkel; and a rousing Brit-pop flair reminiscent of The Beatles, Oasis, and Blur.
On the release of the album, Hinds states:
“As an artist, making this record was the most collaborative experience of my life. Last February, Elsie and I were in a desperate place in our marriage of nearly two decades and had found ourselves facing the front end of the pandemic. We had lived together for 20 years, two artists under one roof who, oddly, had never really collaborated.
We began working on a song or two, then more followed rapidly. We found the process both cathartic and inspiring. Each song on It’s Only Rock and Roll Dust focuses on a different aspect of our relationship.”
Pre-order It’s Only Rock and Roll Dust here.