William Elvin wants to take you on a journey. He wants you to learn something and feel something from start through to finish. Not only is this true with, but it is almost a requirement. His upcoming album ‘Faces and Phases’, is described as “a musical and lyrical rollercoaster of emotions and situations: alienation, addictions, obsessions, the innocence and subsequent dangers of love, fear of abandonment, but amidst it all, hope.”
To take us up to that release, William Elvin has dropped the single, “Tram (Quarry Bay to North Point)” ft. Maita Ponce. Based in Hong Kong, Elvin has created a musical and lyrical mosaic describing this Asian melting pot. It’s is a story. It is a song. It is a recounting and a reckoning all in one.
William Elvin keeps the delicate, humble, yet deeply satisfying sounds of his previous music but adds even more focused and streamlined lyrics and a sophisticated composition that builds upon everything he has done up until now, rather than stray away from it.
As a whole, listening to “Tram (Quarry Bay to North Point)” ft. Maita Ponce is like drinking a tall, pure glass of crystal clear water after a long, dusty, complicated trip. You don’t even realize that you need this music until you hear it, and once you get a taste, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
The raw organic instrumentation washes over the listener like a cleansing wave that purifies and simplifies. After hearing the track from start to finish, one realizes that William Elvin relies on his singular talents, with the song offering every bit in an uncomplicated way, never giving in to multiple layers of instrumentation or complicated chords, offering a simpler, more pared-down sound that lets the music and lyrics flow naturally.
The dedication to thoughtfulness and minimalism in the Kong-based Filipino singer-songwriter’s music is incredible, and impossible to pull off unless ego is completely left on the sideline. If you’re listening to “Tram (Quarry Bay to North Point)” ft. Maita Ponce, you’re basically listening to a conservation of sound arranged around the words and melody for the listener to understand the sounds are an emotive extension of the story.
Melody and narrative is where William Elvin’s songs spring from, and the songwriting is luring and insightful. Elvin has a raw, inimitable grasp on his songwriting that allows him to captivate and inspire, or simply weave an enchanting series of observations.
“Tram (Quarry Bay to North Point)” ft. Maita Ponce, in fact, is a profound series of urban observations that will hold your attention. The track shows an ability to balance rhythm with perfectly strummed acoustic guitar work, while William Elvin’s vocals manifest unexpressed thoughts with patient urgency.
There’s a craftsmanship here that’s built on understanding, rather than any notion of musical subservience to modern trends. It’s on the strength of his disciplined songwriting that William Elvin is capable of creating really good and relatable music such as that on “Tram (Quarry Bay to North Point)” ft. Maita Ponce.