Great Elk
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Great Elk


Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Great Elk - "Two Weeks""

if the strings i strum were gold, could i convince you to love me ’til we’re old

? Great Elk – Two Weeks

Who: Paul, Patrick, Bryan, Tommy, and Adam
What: Chill indie rock, like Ace Reporter, Brown Shoe
Where: Brooklyn, New York + Facebook / Bandcamp
When: Debut LP Autogeography arriving May 22nd
Why: After a looooong Monday a laid back rock song about none other than the topic of love couldn’t be more of a tasty treat. Great Elk is a five man band that can craft one hell of an infectious sound. I’m convinced that these folks are worth keeping an eye on as the year goes on. - The Burning Ear

"New Music // Great Elk - "The Weight of the Sea""

I don't remember the last time I actually read a PR email. 99% get automatically filtered, immediately deleted or sit in the purgatory of my inbox forever. One sure fire way to get me to read about your band is to compare yourselves to My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses. Great Elk's email did just that, I read it, I clicked through and I heard anthemic vaguely rootsy rock that sounds perfect for a long drive through some kind of desolate or majestic landscape that doesn't really exist in this over-populated part of the country. The New York-based band hails from Alaska, which is exactly the kind of place that desolate and majestic landscapes exist. Their debut album Autogeography is out May 22, but you can stream the whole thing at their bandcamp page. Listen to "The Weight Of The Sea" here... - Visible Voice

"Great Elk - "I'm going to bend""

I couldn’t be more excited to share a brand new song from Great Elk’s next level new record, Autogeography. The Brooklyn indie-folk band have stepped up their game considerably after a pair of excellent early EPs – the cleverly titled new one boasts cleaner production and, on a few tracks, power chords and huge, anthemic choruses that are more in line with vintage indie rock than the band’s Americana roots (“The Weight of the Sea” is one such banger and a must-hear). Lead single “I’m Going to Bend” is just achingly pretty and worthy of whatever Wilco comparisons you want to throw at it (I’m hearing some “Jesus Etc.” in there). The record release party is next week (Wednesday, 5/23) at Mercury Lounge. I think you oughtta hear this record ASAP. - Pop Headwound

"New Band Smell: Great Elk"

Great Elk is the brainchild of Paul Basile, a native New Yorker who nonetheless sought satori in remote Bethel, Alaska where he lived for several years, earning his daily bread as a sled dog handler, a commercial fisherman and a newspaper reporter. In 2009, Basile and frequent collaborator Patrick Hay took the name Great Elk and completed their debut self-titled EP. A second EP, entitled February, followed in May 2011. A successful Kickstarter campaign allowed the band to make their way to Woodstock, NY in June 2011 to record at The Isokon with engineer/producer D. James Goodwin (The Bravery, Norah Jones, Bobby), and the fruits of those sessions will drop May 22nd under the name Autogeography. Lead single I’m Going To Bend is a slow-simmering pot of Kosmic American music that should find favor with fans of Band Of Horses or the erstwhile Granddaddy. - My Old Kentucky Blog

""Autogeography" Album Review"

The idea of “home” and finding one’s place in life is a common topic in songwriting; whether literally, metaphorically, or emotionally, countless artists have written about the search for belonging. On their debut LP, Autogeography, folk newcomers Great Elk do an excellent job of exploring such musings. Their melodies, words, and sounds are unassuming yet profound, and the songs resonate with loss and a desire to find comfort.
Formed in 2009, the band currently consists of Paul Basile, Patrick Hay, Adam Christgau, Tommy Harron, and Bryan Trenis. The group’s previous two EPs, Great Elk and February, garnered plenty of critical acclaim and a devoted following. Of Autogeography, producer D. James Goodwin states that it’s one of the best albums he’s ever worked on, adding, “it’s kind of serendipitous how these five guys came together to make these songs something even greater than what they were.” Indeed, Autogeography is a poignant journey.
“The Weight of the Sea,” with its brass chanting and luscious production, is a boisterous opener that effectively builds excitement for the record. “Give Up” is an extremely catchy track about moving forward and elegizing your previous life, while “I’m Going to Bend” is a much more forlorn ballad. Elsewhere, “Liquid” recalls the affective urgency of the Goo Goo Dolls, and “Black Black Sea” features some truly beautiful yet subtle falsetto harmony. The slow waltz rhythm and subdued vocals on closer “Toil and Toil” allow Autogeography to end with bittersweet resolve. Throughout the record, Basile channels the emotionally fragile and poetic sensibilities of Gary Jules and David Gray, which really complements the rustic, sometimes bombastic music well.
Autogeography, as its name suggests, is all about finding yourself in the world and feeling welcomed in a new place. The band does a superb job of channeling these sentiments into touching glimpses of everyday life, and it’s a remarkably consistent and conceptually coherent record. For a debut full-length album, it’s quite impressive, and it shows how much potential Great Elk will display in the coming years. -

"The Mus-O-Meter registers Great Elk's new EP"

Before there was Great Elk, there was just Paul Basile. The singer-songwriter honed his sparse, visceral folk songs as a solo act, before recruiting a band to liven things up a bit and back his gravelly vocals. But to truly get a sense of the band’s sound, we leave that up to our exclusive Algorhythm.
Take the sparse, guitar-centric arrangements of Damien Rice’s 2003 album, “O.” Then add …
The rambling fun of Bright Eyes 2005 album, “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning.” Then add …
The haunting emotion and introspection of Bon Iver’s 2007 debut, “For Emma, Forever Ago.” The sum?
Great Elk’s new, self-titled EP.

Read more: - The New York Post

"Great Elk at Rockwood Stage Two"

If one day, for reasons unknown, a genie, leprechaun or magic fish, were to offer me the chance to see Great Elk anywhere in the world, I would be debating intensely over the choice of one of two places. First and foremost the scene would be this:
I’m in Fairbanks, Alaska. Actually, I’m just outside the town, sat in the foot of a valley, looming with dramatic ridges and draped in tall spruce. About 30 feet away, there’s a river running through. The river’s not large; in fact it’s more of a stream – enough to be pleasant but not overly intimidating. I’m lying back, wrapped in my warmest attire, watching the incredible light show unfold in the sky. I’m wondering if the Aurora Borealis has, for this one night only, been commissioned by the band that are playing directly in front of me, because, believe me, the music they are playing feels like it’s being dictated by this incredible conductor that stands strong and majestically in the cold night sky.
Throw a cute girl into my arms for good measure and that, for me, is wish number one.
Wish number two is as follows:
I’m in a venue as elegant as the music itself. The lights are low and the surrounding company is as equally engaged with the sound and vision taking place on a stage that automatically draws eyes, bodies, minds and souls toward it. The candles are dancing, like that of the Aurora Borealis, to the harmonic, encapsulating music, and beer, wine, and spirits are being served and sipped in a fashion where by they are treasured every time they reach the lips of their keeper. Nearer the stage, various ladies are sat back, eyes closed, nodding their heads and wearing a shy smile upon their face as they, obviously, escape into a world of their own that Great Elk are providing, free of charge for the entirety of their set, to all those passionate enough to do so. A view of the scene is available from two levels and everyone within it is happy…
Shit, hang on a minute.
Wish number two already has come true. Yeah, I’m sure about that. In fact I’m positive. Rockwood Music Hall last Thursday night, I believe?! Fuck me. In that case, round trip to Fairbanks, please!
So, I know now that that was no fairytale wish. But that’s the extent of how Great Elk managed to move me and so man others that night.
This was the first time I had encountered Great Elk and I was blown away immediately by the professionalism and the seriousness of the musicians under that collective mammoth of a name. Led by Paul Basile and Patrick Hay, Great Elk managed something that I have seen few times in a live performance. They, and their band, produced a certain equilibrium between a harmony that engulfs and then, effortlessly, fulfils your want for pace and passion, at precisely the right time. With rousing drums and crescendo of voice, you can personally feel the extent of meaning behind both Basile and Hay. These guys are passionate about everything they are doing and everything that they are trying to accomplish, and that comes across in how they perform.
Great Elk reminisced me with a familiar London sound, in a band called Cherbourg. A folk induced sound but that which also builds like something I would associate more from Explosions in the Sky, or even Fuck Buttons. I’m not suggesting Great Elk are giving us ten minutes of electronic beat but the way the songs are weaved and concocted can be viewed under the same light.
Great Elk offered me something I was looking for and I sensed the same in every other being in the beautiful Rockwood Music Hall.
In Latin, it should be highlighted, that Aurora Borealis directly translates as ‘the dawn of the north’ and this is how, decipher it how you will, I would describe the sound of Great Elk. - The Wild Honey Pie (blog)

"Great Elk: Vibrations"

MP3 exclusive...
Originally featured in the Paste MP3 blog, then in the "Most Listened" section for several weeks. Now featured on the site's "Paste Station", linked below. - Paste Magazine

"MP3 at 3PM: Great Elk"

Apparently, experience as a dog-sled handler transcribes to beautiful folk songs. After four years working with huskies in rural Alaska, Paul Basile moved back home to Brooklyn to polish off melodies he created on nights by the fire. Basile shares a remarkable physical resemblance to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and his band with guitar whiz Patrick Hay, Great Elk, also has a similar musical presence. “Vibrations,” from Great Elk’s self-released, self-titled EP (out June 22), layers acoustic strumming with echoey electric guitar. And it’s Basile’s voice that’s most revealing and best characterizes the song. His gritty vibrato lends style and soul to his lyrics. His pitch isn’t always perfect, and he often sounds like he’s improvising, making his music a physical presence, like warm hands on your cold body. After the EP’s release, look for tour dates along the East Coast. - Magnet Magazine


Autogeography - LP - May 2012
Odds, Ends, Whispers, Shouts - (ongoing singles series, 2013)
October - EP (Paul Basile solo)
February - EP - May 2011 (online only)
Great Elk - EP - June 2010
Skeletons - LP - June 2006 (Paul Basile solo record)



“The Brooklyn rockers Great Elk display the control and restraint of a band with deep chemistry, as they sway gracefully between gentle ballads and mid-tempo indie-rock tunes.” – The New Yorker

"Lead single "I'm going to bend" is a slow-simmering pot of Kosmic American music that should find favor with fans of Band of Horses or the erstwhile Grandaddy." - My Old Kentucky Blog

"Great Elk's Autogeogaphy is a remarkably consistent and conceptually coherent record." -