People Talk is the sophomore release by Pocatello-based folk group Elvis Has Left the Building and with it, lead singer-songwriter Angier Wills continues to write songs with a literary structure that would make them work as well as poems as they do songs.
People Talk covers a wide range of emotions and experiences and includes a darkly humorous piece about a group playing in Baghdad. The band members worry about who will start the car after the gig. "Aminals" is a sweet children's song inspired by Wills' 4-year-old son--the spelling is intentional.
EHLTB's instrumentation includes mandolin and electric cello that, along with the usual suspects, adds a down-home feel and gives emotion to a song paralleling prison and medical school (Wills is a physician) or a sad love song that uses Einstein's theory of relativity as a framework. Wills even finds inspiration in geography: He focuses on the emptiness of a small town, and in "Targhee Lodge," a ski resort takes on a sinister feel.
The real gem here is "Dumaine Street," the actual name of a street in New Orleans. With a subdued open-tuned guitar Wills conjures a ghostly ambience of New Orleans and the poignant feel of a love that is ending: "In footsteps of Napoleon / I wander through the streets / So many here in exile / No one would notice me / on Dumaine Street."
The album leaves a listener thinking that maybe Elvis Has Left the Building should find a broader audience. Visit elbinfo.com to learn more about the band and the album. Maybe then People (will start to) Talk.