Track Review

Track Review: Hopes & Horoscopes // Elison

Coming from a creative family, it was only natural that singer-songwriter Marissa Kephart embraced a career in the arts. As a graphic designer, Marissa emerged herself in visual arts but always had a dream of playing music – this dream came true in 2021. Using the Covid-19 pandemic as a catalyst for her musical career, US-based Marissa began learning to play the guitar and write music. After meeting up with producer and multi-instrumentalist Scott Yoshimura, the duo soon began releasing music as Elison.

Following the well-received single ‘Meet Me Halfway’, ‘Hopes & Horoscopes’ adopts an indie-rock sound with integrated dream-pop synths throughout. The flowing arrangement sets off a wistful, flowing and slightly whimsical feeling within a hazy ambience. As if travelling through a forest filled with perfumed mist, listening to ‘Hopes & Horoscopes’ ensnares your senses from the first chord. While the track has a typical indie-rock style, Marissa and Scott present obscurity and eclecticism with the refreshing ‘Hopes & Horoscopes’.

Recorded and produced by Scott Yoshimura in his home studio, and this time we don’t mean the living room acting as a studio, ‘Hopes & Horoscopes’ is a whirlwind of intimate emotions. A self-reflective song, Marissa highlights her bad habits “that she can’t seem to shake” and really bares her soul. It is this introspection in a sentimental song that connects with listeners showcasing Elison’s innovativeness as a band. What I find even more interesting is how invested Marissa is in ‘Hopes & Horoscopes’. It isn’t merely a tale about human fragility, but a true soul-searching grapple to come to terms with her own fragility.

A true perfectionist, Marissa aims for the exceptional in all situations. Yet, she explains that the pandemic “gave her permission to be bad at something”, that something being Elison. I don’t know about you but when I listen to these tracks, I can’t believe anyone would question their perfection. It’s just, well, sublimely perfect.

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