The Elvis Hour EP (susiescurry.com)
If you were wondering, the Elvis Hour as envisaged by Susie Scurry – from my listening anyway – is that time between cocktail hour and dinner where the kick of the cocktail is now more a glow. A glow of satisfaction mingled with expectation.
Or maybe it’s the hour between last drinks and bed, when the sleepiness rises but you still have the warmth of the exchanges (possibly conversational, possibly physical) which preceded it.
Then again it could be that indistinct period during the late evening when some good choices at the turntable makes cutting a rug (on the rug) seem like the only sensible move for you.
Or maybe it is in fact the time after everyone’s gone, you’ve poured yourself the last of the wine, passed your partner a single malt, and sat down with a sigh of contentment mixed with happy weariness. That was a most excellent night, you two say, good chat, good nosh, good folks. And yeah, the washing up can wait til the morning.
Whatever your theory, the six tracks offer at least as many options as the multiple Elvis Presleys referred to in the title track (from Hawaii and Acapulco to the desert and New Orleans, among them). The one thing not in doubt is that all these hours occur somewhere well before 1964.
Scurry, (whose previous album was called, and it seems credited to, The Grand Magoozi - no doubt for very good reasons) offers an easy 27 minutes of easy listening done so easily you might make the mistake of dismissing it as inconsequential.
But the contrasting duo of a Doris Day-ish ballad in I Don’t Say That Name Anymore, with its gentle lean and even more gentle brush strokes, and the fiddle-and-heels country spin of I Wonder, have straightforward charms. And the 95 seconds of the instrumental Kelham Island is straight out pretty.
The more nuanced Daddy’s Guitar, with its faint touches of the islands and stronger strain of regrets and loss, and Waiting For You, where we are placed halfway between the surf and the late night bar, work harder for your approval but hold you longer once they have you.
The standout song though is the title track, which is something like Eilen Jewell backed by Richard Hawley: tulle skirts and drape suits (the woman with her head slightly back, the man with his hand high on her back), glide across the dancefloor through brisk but elegant moves.
The big twang solo doesn’t raise any more of a sweat than the verses though, the “lonely feeling” Scurry sings about held at bay by the curve of the rhythm and the soft swell of the backing vocals. Smiling is understandable. Hard to deny really.
Oh, look at the time, it’s Elvis Hour. A sherry is called for. Maybe even two. Bold!