Strong and Tender

by Eli Conley

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    releases April 26, 2017

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Includes digital pre-order of Strong and Tender. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it's released.
    digital album releases April 26, 2017
    item ships out on or around April 25, 2017

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1.
2.
Lucky Star
3.
All That Ends
4.
What I'm Worth
5.
Broke Song
6.
Give It Up
7.
Strong and Tender
8.
Get In My Own Way
9.
Strong
10.
The End

about

Eli Conley titled his sophomore album Strong and Tender, but he might well have been describing himself. On stage he’s an earnest yet funny storyteller. His songs address big themes like love, aging, and death through the concrete and immediate details of daily life: a stolen truck, a flopping fish, a dime in the pocket.

Since releasing his debut album At The Seams in 2013, Eli has been featured in the Huffington Post and the Advocate. He’s opened for Grammy-winner Kimya Dawson and the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, and founded Queer Country West Coast, a regular series featuring LGBTQ country artists in the Bay Area.

Eli’s music is grounded in folk tradition, and he comes by it honestly. He grew up in a small town in central Virginia, and got his musical education listening to his parents’ collection of hundreds of albums by singer-songwriters and roots musicians. He also spent years studying classical singing and picking out Broadway hits of the 40’s and 50’s on the piano. By the time he picked up a guitar at 15, he already had a working knowledge of song structure and music theory – tools that helped him grow into the careful craftsman he is today.

For Strong and Tender, Eli brought his touring band into the studio for the first time. Cellist Conrad Sisk (Blue Line Highway, Rattlemouth) and multi-instrumentalist Joel Price (ellipsis, Open Hand) joined him at Tiny Telephone, an all-analog studio that has hosted such notables as Mirah, tUnE-yArDs, Jolie Holland, and The Magnetic Fields.

Strong and Tender tells rich stories ranging from the highs and lows of love to fierce political anthems. “Maybe the ozone will open up and we’ll all go to our graves/Maybe we’ll end this mess we’re in, I believe we can still be saved,” he sings on the humorous yet pointed “All That Ends.” “What I’m Worth” is told in the voice of a transgender man dreaming of escape from his hometown, yet demanding in the here and now “don’t try to tell me what I’m worth.” On “Get In My Own Way,” Eli laughs at himself for procrastinating on songwriting yet again. “Strong” is a tribute to the Movement for Black Lives that also reflects on losses Eli has faced in his personal life.

At heart, Eli is a clear-eyed songwriter with high hopes for the human race. His songs urge us to love ourselves even when it feels like the world does not. You can’t help but sing along.

credits

releases April 26, 2017

Eli Conley – Guitar, Vocals
Conrad Sisk – Cello
Alex Bice – Upright Bass, Percussion
Joel Price – Mandolin, Violin, Viola, Harmony Vocals
Maia Wiitala – Upright Bass on “Strong and Tender”
Willa Mamet – Harmony Vocals

All Songs Written by Eli Conley © 2017 (BMI)
Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Jacob Winik at Tiny Telephone Studios, Oakland, CA
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice
Vocal Arrangements by Joel Price
Artwork & Design by Nicole Melville
Photography by Brooke Porter

A Big Thank You To: Conrad, Joel, Alex, Willa, Maia & Jacob for all the love and intention you brought to this album, Mom & Dad for always supporting me, Jeanie LoVetri for helping me sing, Tobie Klibansky for showing me what’s possible, and everyone who gave to make this album happen, including: Catherine Janis, Nell Conley, Michelle & Julian Kaye, Kenric Taylor, Carol Hastings, Lela Patrik, Crash Redémarré, Ben Doyle, Jeff Frasca, Justin Brodgen, Laurie Silverman, Christine Feaster, Cecilia & Hanno Kaiser, India Harville, Shae Bousquet, Teresa Van Roey, Irene Carney, Eric Estes, Gary & Lanette Lee Price, Christine Ho, Luke & Catherine Fleischman, Amy Butcher, Mayra Ferreira, Gary Patrik, Alana Price, Christine Williams, Gary Macbeth, Kim McGaughey, Natalie Morris, Robin McLeod, Ed Isaacs, and Cole Rowan

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about

Eli Conley Berkeley, California

Eli Conley titled his sophomore album Strong and Tender, but he might well have been describing himself. On stage he’s an earnest yet funny storyteller. His songs urge us to love ourselves even when it feels like the world does not. You can’t help but sing along. ... more

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Track Name: How Do We Know
How Do We Know
Eli Conley

Every morning you wake up
You make the toast and brew the tea
You pet the cat and keep her quiet
So she will not wake me

How do we know when it’s time to seal the deal?
How do we know when it’s time to take all the things we feel and make it real? How do we know? Oh...

At night we go out on the roof
And watch the stars as they appear
And I’ll admit I’ve looked for proof
That love can still work out, I’ve had to let go doubt and fear

How do we know when it’s time to seal the deal?
How do we know when it’s time to take all the things we feel and make it real? How do we know? Oh...

Four years ago you drew some diamonds
Geometric, pen and ink, you gave them to me
And then this spring you made a ring, a little silver thing
And we told ourselves it meant nothing, oh no

In truth, I’ve never cared for marriage
But I hoped we’d settle down
I’ll take the roses and the carriage
But not the paperwork, we don’t need no clerk downtown

I think I know that it’s time to seal the deal
I think I know that it’s time to take all the things I feel and kneel
I think I know, Oh...