How does one describe Elston Torres' music? It's deceptively more complex than it seems. In the very first track, A Perfect World, he exudes a mysterious light as captivatingly as any mellifluous folkster extent, but the material in the cut transcends its genre by virtue of an airy formlessness that pulls the listener into a soft, enfolding, billowing sensuality taking the rough edges off the periphery of hedonism. Torres has a partner in crime here, Brandan Buckley, and the two fit like hand in glove. Elsten sings and plays guitar while Brandan plays drums, percussion, keyboards, and vibes (and produces the disc), but it's obvious the key to the kingdom is a synchrony of confluences that produces a smiling ringing sweetness hiding the ache of the real just beneath each entrancing surface.
The delicacy of cuts like Closer Tonight only furthers the filigreed milieu pervading much of Waiting for Clouds, the song's lullaby refrain reassuring, gently swirling through the speakers into sighing ears, but that very gentility and its lyrics carrying a muffled plea for more intimacy in an increasingly desperate world are interesting in the sentiment they invoke: an anxiety sleeping beneath the moonlit whispers. Never once does Torres utter a syllable about what's going on in the outside world and its travails, but the damnation is right there nonetheless, poetically revealed in the opening stanza "You know that I hate to say goodbye…wishing the world would go away".
Moreover, you can never quite tell, when he laments to his lover the pain "when you leave me once again", whether he's speaking of just the parting of the pair to do the bidding of the world or of the final break-up of lover from lover, finito. This only heightens the wistful tension of Eros against the imminence of the mundane, the banal, everything that's anti-life. You will not, however, quite get the depth of what I'm saying until you hear the song; the sonics act as emotional modulation and are inextricable to understanding. Keeping Me Waiting captures the best of a Josh Rousey sound in a dazey-faced easy stomp headnodding and sugarfooting on a bare-wood dance floor, and the rest of the CD treads from here to there, as all music enterprises are wont to do, but Half-Hearted floats up and reaches back to Closer Tonight, pulls up ever more the underlying tragedian paradoxes. These two songs are the center weight of Waiting for Clouds, and you'll find yourself struck by the masterful levels of precarious but delicious balances Elsten Torres achieves. They are, as I mentioned, poetry.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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