William Elvin and the Circus Tour - '10/23'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on William Elvin and the Circus Tour, the moniker of Hong Kong-based Filipino singer songwriter William Elvin Manzano. The acoustic performer has released a new single available to download for free on Bandcamp. Entitled ‘10/23,’ the tune is well worth a listen. Let’s dig into it a bit.

Elvin’s new single embraces a lovely level of musical brevity, scored only by a bright acoustic guitar performance and some light, but particularly gorgeous string and piano arrangements. As a result of this, the song has a very raw, authentic feel to it. At times, Elvin’s vocals stray into territory they probably shouldn’t, and his voice falls flat on occasion. That doesn’t detract from the track, however, because it adds to its emotional intensity and honesty.

At its core, ‘10/23’ is a love ballad, the type of song I probably get across my desk most often from singer songwriters with a folksy vibe like this. Elvin’s performance is a moving one, though, and that places it on a different level than its counterparts. ‘10/23’ perfectly captures the essence of a brand new relationship in that beautiful honeymoon phase. The only thing that matters in the world to each person is the other, and that’s a relatable feeling that’ll make ‘10/23’ an emotional listening experience for many.

There’s a uniquely somberness to ‘10/23,’ too, I’d argue, because as many of us know, that honeymoon period never lasts forever. (Even though it always feels like it will.) I could absolutely see someone listening to this after a relationship and having it be as impactful as listening to it at the beginning of one. That’s tough to do as a songwriter and I laud Elvin for that.

‘10/23’ is a touching single that’s much more compelling than the vast majority of ballads that come across my desk. Give it a spin below; it’s worth a download.