With such an emphasis on singer-songwriters in music these days, one would think that artist variation would become stale or boring. Depending on whether or not you’re looking at the mainstream version of such artists, you might be right. But looking a little deeper off the beaten path and you’ll find yourself in the wonderfully sarcastic splendor of artists who turn the stereotypes upside down. Such is the case with You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It, the new album from Chelsea Lovitt & Boys on Fat Elvis Records.
Southern Mississippi born Lovitt has spent a good amount of her life traveling the world, cherry-picking influences, and fine-tuning her craft. From the dangerous rockabilly of Link Wray to the garage swagger of Courtney Barnett, Lovitt’s style is a checkerboard of rock n’ roll history. For every moment she’s channeling Hank Williams, she spends two kicking your teeth in with punk sensibilities (or lack thereof).
You Had Your Cake, So Lie In It isn’t entirely made up of angst and confidence though.
Some of the greatest moments on the album are when Lovitt slows things down a few notches and lets her razor-sharp wit take center stage. On the retro-country flavored “Beanstalk”, Lovitt pokes fun at the inevitable crashing of our naive hopes and dreams. With the title track “You Had Your Cake” Lovitt gives off the impression she’s calling out a cheating lover but in reality, it could be a cross-eyed love song about society’s growing narcissism. Or that’s what I got out of it anyway. There’s something special about Lovitt’s self-awareness that makes me apply her jabs to my own life. But it’s done in such an intelligent way, it’s more funny than insulting.
Every single track oozes personality in the most endearing way. Lovitt has a knack for making her songs introspective and heartbreaking, yet humorous and entertaining. Just as the cover art suggests, You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It is an exercise in laughing about your own insecurities failures. It’s that kind of all-knowing wit that’s missing in all of the mainstream’s singer-songwriter artists. Maybe even secular music as a whole?
From production to cover art, You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It is a satisfying affair.
Finding it’s way to Fat Elvis Records is another element about this record I find extremely satisfying. Fat Elvis Records is a label I’ve been following from its inception and Chelsea Lovitt’s release is kind of full circle. With artists like Blackfoot Gypsies, Fantastic Negrito, and Reverends, I’ve watched this label grow and put out some truly amazing releases. Lovitt’s album is not only the 10th release from Fat Elvis Records, but it feels like the thematic culmination of every single release rolled into one. This is a label I see growing even more within the coming years and You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It feels like the beginning of a new phase. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Despite the market being over-saturated with singer-songwriter types, Chelsea Lovitt is a treasure and if You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It is any indicator, I feel she will be the artist to watch out for. If she continues to release records at least half of this quality, the frosting on the cake is tasting mighty sweet already.
You Had Your Cake, Now Lie In It is available on vinyl exclusively through Fat Elvis Records.
For more info on Chelsea Lovitt & Boys, visit www.chelsealovitt.com/