Elk and Boar
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Elk and Boar

Tacoma, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Tacoma, Washington, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Soul




"The Show to See"

This twangy Tacoma duo concludes a week of record-release shows tonight. The album they’re celebrating, Something out of Nothing—funded by Kickstarter and produced by Elijah Thomson of Everest—finds Kirsten Wenlock and Travis Barker (not to be confused with Blink-182’s drummer) wrapping their rich harmonies around rootsy folk songs and delicate Dust Bowl ballads like a Pacific Northwest version of Shovels & Rope. DAVE LAKE - Seattle Weekly

"The Collective’s First “Best of the New” Showcase"

“Among a night full of honest-to-god singers, Tacoma’s Elk & Boar, also know as Kirsten and Travis, probably snagged the title for biggest voice of them all, and with friends in the room to invite on stage, it grew even bigger. This night the kids who toughed it out in choir were the cool kids.” - Sound on the Sound

"Tacoma bands to watch in 2011- Elk and Boar"

“… The beautiful vocals, the harmonies and the aching lyrics on their first EP sound like the kind of music that – if I ever went to church – I would want to hear while I was there. The occasional banjo and sing-along opportunities don’t hurt. ” BOND HUBERMAN - City Arts

"Glenn's Best Songs of 2011"

Elk and Boar are the epitome of Northwest music. They have the folk, the old timey feel, a beard/mustache (Travis), the wildlife name, and even a little bit of soul (see Kirsten Wenlock in “The Power of Gospel video bellow). But they still manage to create a new, fresh, and soothing sound with their collaboration. Kirsten Wenlock and Travis Barker, based out of Tacoma, WA, are both talented musicians individually, but together they are at a new level. As there blog says about the project:

“Our project needed a name. We scanned my attic for inspiration. There on my desk sat our two shot glasses. I had always favored the one with the elk on it, Travis liked the boar. He is year of the boar so that makes sense for him and I… don’t know. Elk is fun to say and it ends with the letter my name starts with. Elk and Boar. Hmmm~ sounds Scandinavian too, probably means something wonderful in Swedish! It was settled quickly. All at once, our music had wildlife on its side.”

I’m impressed by the simplicity of their songs, and yet you can feel the passion that they put into their music. I hope to see them come out with more stuff soon. - The Wounded Jukebox

"Touched by Angels: A Review of the band Elk and Boar"

Elk and Boar are a religious experience for anyone that loves music for the pure emotion it provides. Their music is felt in your chest, it catches in your throat and as you’re about to cry they put a smile on your face. You can’t help but clap, stomp and sing along.

The songs are so personal, they must feel the pain of the moment every time they sing. It makes one thankful for the lengths a musician is willing to go in creating a song of pain and peace as they do.

While simply sitting in a bar, their music transports you to a large cathedral and lays you down in the woods beside a campfire. You enter the beautiful worlds elk and boar conjure through their songs, see what they see, feel the things they feel.

These two talented individuals are from Tacoma. Their album Room to Start was released last year unfortunately to only moderate press. Travis Barker & Kirsten Wenlock started playing together in 2010 but it’s as if they have been singing together their whole lives. Two voices perfectly compliment one another. Kirsten’s voice is larger than her small frame would suggest; it is truly a gift and hard to understand the power and size of it coming from such a petite girl. Travis sings with a voice that’s hard to describe. Not country or pop, and not bluesy either… but that is what makes it so beautiful; it sounds like no other. You feel it more than hear it.

On October 27 2011, Elk and Boar blew the crowd away at the 418 Public House. This was my experience at that show.

Travis started off with the song “Thief”, lamenting the past evils of a lifetime and the feeling that even though reformed, Hell is still coming for you. As he sings you can see a man begging God for mercy yet not feeling completely forgiven for his sins. “10,000 Angels” is a song that if you have lost someone or are losing someone to cancer, you should listen to it. The lyrical point of view is Travis’ Grandfather as he was passing. It makes you truly believe they have and will find peace after their passing and one more sunrise could be the most wonderful thing in life. “Baby Please” is a song of faded love that makes you put yourself into the wreck of a person begging to hold on to the last little strings of love in a relationship. At the chorus “Oh baby please” you feel the tug in your heart and pray to never be in that position.

At that point Travis and Kirsten broke into songs that had the whole room pounding on the tables and stomping their feet. It was so loud and energetic the crowd almost drowned out the music but Kirsten’s smile let you know that she was touched. When she sings the song, “Alright” she lets you know, not just feel, that everything is going to be alright and it gives you goose bumps. Late in the set they broke into “No Diggity” by Blackstreet and it showed the range of music these two can play: sad songs, love songs, pop, dance, gospel, and soul all in one night. It’s like seeing a festival’s worth of music in one band.-Kevin Pittman - Inside Right Wrist

"2011's Top 10 Seattle Bands To Watch."

“Elk & Boar- One night at Doe Bay Fest this year, I separated myself from friends to see who else I could find meandering the grounds of this spectacular resort. I think I may have walked 50 yards before I found a campfire and people surrounding it. In the true fashion of this festival it didn’t take much time before you would see a familiar face or chat it up with another music lover… but after everyone left (about 60 ppl), there were 5, and not knowing better … 3 of these people were taking turns singing with their guitar in hand (Sean Flinn was one of the three). Two of these were Elk & Boar ( Travis and Kirsten) and I was blown away…I had no idea. I just sat outside listening to these amazing artists in front of this campfire (for about 3 hours) thinking … ”this is my idea of heaven” the most beautiful voices accompanied by a guitar and the crackling of a fire, surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country or world for that matter. As the sun started to peek out from under the fog, that’s when we introduced ourselves; they said they had the band called Elk & Boar from Tacoma, and I have been smitten ever since. Check them out, they playNeumos on December 21st. Trust me .. this band is magic live.” - Seismic Sound

"Tonight in Music"

(Columbia City Theater) Elk and Boar are a newish Tacoma band (they were formerly known as Kristen and Travis, which makes them sound like a 1970s variety show) that is shaping up to get some huge attention in 2011. The key word here is "harmonies." He (Travis? Boar?) has a nice, somewhat gravelly voice, like Bonnie Prince Billy without the air quotes. She (Kristen? Elk?) sounds delicate yet sturdy, like a less vampy Dolly Parton. Their voices wrap together like velvet and burnished wood, and they sprinkle spare strings around everything. Quality songwriters, Elk and Boar are up-and-comers precisely because they sound like they've been doing this for decades. PAUL CONSTANT - The Stranger


Still working on that hot first release.



Elk and Boar is Kirsten Wenlock and Travis Barker, two artists who joined up in 2010 for a side project and subsequently, became a band.

"Room To Start", their first full length released in March of 2011, is a soulful collection of emotional songs that hope and lament. It afforded them a feature on 1band 1brand, two trips to SXSW and a spot at Doe Bay Fest 2011.

Their latest effort, "Something Out Of Nothing", was produced by the accomplished Elijah Thomson (from the band Everest), who skillfully married Boar's raw grit with Elk's soulful charm.

Elk and Boar have recently been compared to Shovels and Rope, The Lumineers and The Civil Wars.

Elk and Boar frequent the Seattle show circuit and have been favorably reviewed by such publications as The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger.

"Something out of Nothing" funded by Kickstarter and produced by Elijah Thomson of Everest, finds Kirsten Wenlock and Travis Barker wrapping their rich harmonies around rootsy folk songs and delicate Dust Bowl ballads like a Pacific Northwest version of Shovels & Rope." DAVE LAKE-Seattle Weekly

"Quality songwriters, Elk and Boar are up-and-comers precisely because they sound like theyve been doing this for decades. PAUL CONSTANT- The Stranger