Twenty-two-year-old singer-songwriter Elijah Wolf-Christensen hasn’t just arrived, he’s returned. His songs brim with adventure, romance, and homecoming, revealing an impressively broad songwriting palette for such a young man. “You start out with information you’ve been given,” he says from his Woodstock, NY, home, “and then you go out and search, and you come right back to that starting point with everything you’ve collected.”
Elijah’s story begins with – and returns to – soulful, deeply melodic, acoustic-based folk, courtesy of a Pete Seeger-loving dad and a Dylan-Baez-Mitchell-loving mom. The memories are fond, but soon after picking up an electric bass, he immersed himself in punk rock and hardcore, testing his fledgling wings in several decidedly non-folk acts.
His high school rock trio The Paper Planets edged close to pro status, with management, touring, and recording, until Elijah, whose appetite for music making broadened beyond the band, enrolled in the SUNY-Purchase Conservatory of Music. “I wanted to expand my musical knowledge,” he says of this turning point. “And I fell in love with the beauty of life, and with songwriting.”
Elijah self-released two eclectic collections as Elijah & The Moon. These garnered airplay, a licensing deal that netted a Subaru ad, high profile gigs like Mountain Jam, and the attention of charismatic Catskill singer-songwriter-novelist-producer Simone Felice. After touring worldwide behind his own acclaimed work, Felice was eager to get back to his native soil to mentor and produce a hungry up-and-comer. When he invited Elijah to his mountain home, it was magic. “We immediately bonded,” Elijah says. “We listened to records, opened all the doors in his studio barn, and sang.”
A four-day session with Woodstock co-producer Dave Baron, on which Felice and Elijah played everything, resulted in the irresistibly hooky “Be A Man,” and the aching, unforgettable “Far From Heaven.” Each showcases Elijah’s classic melodic sense and dramatic, soaring voice. It’s his best work yet, and Elijah is eager to present it onstage. “I write songs every day,” he says, “but I also have a huge passion for playing to audiences.” Elijah, indeed, may get categorized as “folk,” but the live presentation is definitely a show.
Elijah Wolf-Christensen’s roundabout journey encompasses a lot: folk, punk, rock, and finally back to a distinctive spin on modern acoustic music, all infused with friendship, love, and the shadows therein. “Realizing I’ve come full circle was a big moment for me,” Elijah says. But this journey, clearly, is just beginning.
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