You may recognize Elijah Goodall from his previous work in the Bend-based band, Isles. Goodall, who started playing music after high school, now holds the reins on a new band called This Island Earth. He started creating the music for This Island Earth just over a year ago and does all of the composition himself. This Island Earth plays art pop and experimental rock that incorporates electronic elements. The soulful music evokes emotion through strong storytelling and writing.
Prior to becoming a stay-at-home dad, Goodall taught writing classes at the Nature of Words. With a strong writing background, it's no surprise he's developing three concept albums with a distinct narrative. "Wounded Tropic" centers around an island hit by a tropical storm, wiping out the population. Goodall plans to release the albums over the next year and a half, the first dropping in October.
"When I write narratives and short stories and things behind songs, or in this case albums, it's really more for me," Goodall says. "It's to give me a sense of, if I'm writing about a heavy concept, I want to have a story to that concept instead of just an idea."
The first album takes place before the storm hits, the second during the storm and the third takes place after the storm passes. Each album comprises four different voices — the native people on the island, the island itself, the storm and the ocean.
"Writing the narrative, a lot of it has been for me to get into the space of whatever voice it is that I'm writing," Goodall says. "There's a lot of really elemental imagery in most of these voices, whether it's water or kind of air and chaos and death is really the storm. The earth tends to be the most nurturing. The island itself is a lot more matriarchal than anything else. But a lot of those songs that are written from that, the lyrics were written in the first year and a half of having a kid."
Goodall's writing background shines through in creating these three concept albums with a strong narrative. Not only does he tackle heavy subject matter, but he challenges himself to write in three distinctly different voices. While he still has over a year before releasing the final chapter, he doesn't see the completion as the payoff.
"The emotional payoff with writing sometimes comes when you're nearing the end of a book. And then it can be really overwhelming, whether it was a novel or a graphic novel or even with a film, a lot of times the emotional payoff comes when you complete it," Goodall says. "With music it feels more like now. It's just happening."
Foxtails Brigade, This Island Earth
Sunday, July 23. 9pm.
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr., Bend.