Last Wednesday night J. Elliott landed in first place at the third round of the Battle of the Bands semifinals. So today, we’ll be closing the week out with his single, “Half as Good as You”.
This week, we’ve been covering some of the bands competing in this year’s Battle of the Bands competition. Twenty-four bands all hoping to make it to the finals held at The Vogue on February 15th. The winning band will take home a grand prize of $10,000 and a touring van.
We’re halfway through the semifinal rounds now. So far, the advancing bands include Forstory, Jake Schlegel, Porch Kat, and J. Elliot. Last Wednesday, J. Elliott came in first place, with Porch Kat coming in at a close second over Veseria, Shiny Penny, Side Hustle, and Out of the Blues.
For his first place win, we’ll be looking at J. Elliott’s most recent single, “Half as Good as You”. But before we get into our song of the day, first here’s a little more information on J. Elliott.
J. Elliott is an Indianapolis based singer-songwriter and guitarist. His genres of choice are acoustic rock and folk. While he’s known locally and around the region for fronting the Indianapolis based rock group Stereo Deluxe, Elliott also performs alone with just an acoustic guitar.
In 2016, J. Elliott released his debut single, “Highway Miles”, followed up the same year by another single, “She’s an Outlaw”. 2017 saw a similar year for Elliott, with the release of the two additional singles, “With the Lord in Her Heart”, and “Half as Good as You”.
Since 2017, we haven’t seen anything new from Elliott. We can expect though, that in the past few years he’s been working on putting together a debut album or EP. Or perhaps he’s hoping that the grand prize money from the Battle of the Bands will be enough to produce it.
Half as Good as You
“Half as Good as You” is J. Elliott’s most recent single. While he may perform alone with just an acoustic guitar, it seems that his recorded songs tend to feature a backing band. It’s hard to say how well “Half as Good as You” would translate when performed as a solo acoustic act, but Elliott’s current version isn’t half bad.
Even though he may identify more as a folk and acoustic rock musician, there’s a good deal of country energy to be found in “Half as Good as You”. The track opens with a rocking, twangy groove with layered guitars and driving drums that keep up for most of the song. Later on, the track raises its bombastic energy with the addition of organ, piano, and tambourine.
In terms of craft, the songwriting in “Half as Good as You” is right up there with the best. It’s a fine song that knows how to manage its energy, deliver its message, and do so in an entertaining way. Elliott’s vocals are also worth mentioning, as he demonstrates superior control over his range and power. Another thing to appreciate is that they don’t fall into the box of typical country singers’ twangy twang.
While all of this is great, there’s still unfortunately something about this song that just doesn’t do it for me personally. This is more of a subjective, aesthetic difference in preference more than anything else. For me, “Half as Good as You” is better than more than half the country songs I’ve heard, but it’s still a little too country for my ears.
Overall, “Half as Good as You” is a fine song that a lot of people are sure to enjoy if they have any country leanings. While it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, I can still appreciate J. Elliott’s skill as a musician, singer, and songwriter. Congratulations go to him and Porch Kat for advancing to the finals on February 15th. Be sure to get out to The Vogue then to catch the last round of the Battle of the Bands.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.