If husband and wife duo Josh and Nicole Johnson, a.k.a Elenowen, look a little familiar, it’s because you may have seen them on the first season of The Voice, as the group whose singer-songwriter stylings were an odd match for a competition that would much rather you sing a remixed version of anything on the Billboard 100 while the stage fills with an uncomfortable amount of pyrotechnics than something you actually wrote.
If Elenowen sound a little familiar, however, it’s because they build on the simple yet lush male-female harmonic blueprint set by The Civil Wars and Swell Season, made their own with layered instrumentals, moody vocals and steel guitar-nods to their southern roots. You can listen to the song “Flying for the First Time” right here, which was co-written with fellow Nashvillian Trent Dabbs.
Rather than hustle to release a ramshackle record building on their Voice momentum, the Nashville twosome took their time, simmering songs in preparation for their debut self-titled EP, available on 5.29 (Dualtone). Their official album release show is this Saturday at 3rd and Lindsley.
We pried the couple for their favorite local haunts. “I wanted to include record stores, venues, shops, etc. but couldn’t stop thinking about food,” says Josh. We know the feeling. Now for Elenowen’s Nashville Five:
1. Nicole: Posh - Great boutique with tons of choices and an amazing giant sale room! You will leave looking…well, very posh. Josh: Patterson House – Sneakiest bar in Nashville. Best cocktails and best vibe. You can’t help but feel like James Bond when you walk through the curtain.
2. Nicole & Josh: Fido. “Obsessed. If I had to choose only one place to go to for the rest of my life, it’d be Fido. Every item on the menu is amazing!” – Nicole. “Who doesn’t like Fido? It’s a Nashville staple and I’d be lying if I didn’t include it. Love everything they have to offer (besides their lack of power outlets)” – Josh.
4. Nicole: Jeni’s – Best & most creative ice cream! Josh: Beyond the Edge – Made some good memories here. Not to mention they have Yazoo Gerst on draft, a killer hummus quesadilla and always seem to be open.
5. Nicole: Burger Up – There are several fantastic burger joints in Nashville, but Burger Up is the best. I love everything from their quality, organic & local ingredients to their presentation! I’m hooked. Josh: Mitchell’s Deli – Every sandwich on the menu will rock your world, & their salad bar is fa-resh!
Grab tickets for Saturday’s show here.
Photo credit – Jamie Clayton