If Only There Was A River is the first full-length studio album from Anna St. Louis. The songwriter, who originally hails from Kansas City, began writing songs after moving to Los Angeles five years ago and has previously released a cassette of recordings on Woodsist / Mare Records, appropriately titled First Songs. The tape received notice from NPR: All Songs Considered, Pitchfork, and Stereogum.
On her proper debut, St. Louis, spreads her wings and expands on the promise hinted at on First Songs. To achieve that end, St. Louis enlisted Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) and Kevin Morby to produce the album, which was engineered by Thomas in his home in Mount Washington, LA. The collection of 11 songs also features Justin Sullivan (Night Shop) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo). While hints of influences like Loretta Lynn, John Fahey and Townes Van Zandt peek out of the corners of the songs, If Only There Was a River is not a nostalgic affair. Rather it marks the emergence of an artist fully coming into their own.
Elena Setién is an artist de ned by her vivid songwriting and nuanced compositions. The multi- instrumentalist’s music exudes the bold individualism and sense of empathy associated with her homeland of Spain’s Basque region. Setién’s declarative gestures both musically and lyrically breathe life into her expressive allegories. Her careful arrangements are direct and a ecting and give her room for forays into experimentation. While Elena’s recordings are decidedly pop, she has considerable experience as an improviser. Another Kind Of Revolution, Elena Setién’s Thrill Jockey debut, is a work of entrancing, efortless beauty.