The house on Mountain Laurel Road was a sanctuary for Elijah Wolf. He grew up there, surrounded by the bucolic tranquility of the Catskills and enraptured with the bohemian charm of Woodstock. It was a place he returned to frequently, both in body and spirit, and in moments of darkness or doubt, all he had to do was close his eyes and picture the winding road, the colorful walls, the pastoral view, and the company of his family. Wolf got word that the house was to be sold as he was losing someone close to him, though, and the double-barreled blast of bad news marked the beginning of the most tumultuous year of his life, one which now forms the bedrock of his stunning debut album, ‘On the Mtn Laurel Rd.”
Recorded primarily in Wolf’s Brooklyn bedroom, ‘On the Mtn Laurel Rd’ is an arresting synthesis of past and present, traditional and experimental, country and city. Blending organic roots and driving alt-rock with shimmering electronic elements, each track represents a specific place or moment in Wolf’s life, with scenes rendered vividly through his richly detailed lyrical portraits and evocative vocal delivery. Sometimes achingly lonely and riddled with self-doubt, sometimes warmly hopeful and resolute, the songs reflect the dizzying series of highs and lows Wolf faced as he traced his own storyline back to its roots and prepared to say goodbye to the only life he’d ever known.
“Releasing this album now feels like a weight off my chest, like every bit of frustration and nostalgic loneliness all leaving my body at the same time,” he explains. “Making this record was the greatest therapy session I’ve ever had.”
Though the music is markedly personal, it also taps into something wholly universal as it grapples with mortality and the passage of time. In putting his own emotional journey under the microscope, Wolf has managed to craft an album that speaks to the core of the human experience in all its impermanent beauty. It’s a collection that, as much as it laments the pain of loss, celebrates the memory of what was and the promise of what’s to come.