By day, Elephant Micah’s Joseph O'Connell works as a folklorist, documenting the local culture of southern Indiana and other Midwest regions. Not surprisingly, his songs seem to emerge from habits of travel and observation. Their account of the phenomenal world is as vivid as it is mysterious, equal parts ethnographic fact and fable. For the past 14 years, O'Connell has quietly self-released his work on CD-R and limited LPs, sometimes collaborating with the psych-folk imprint Time-Lag Records or other very small labels.
Despite the project’s almost secretive status, Elephant Micah has repeatedly caught the attention of NPR, and has been championed by an impressive cohort of like-minded artists, including Jason Molina, Patterson Hood, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Dark Dark Dark. Over time, O’Connell’s songwriting has grown in confidence and intensity, while maintaining its signature restraint. Where in Our Woods, the 12th Elephant Micah album and the first for Western Vinyl, is the fruit of this long-term creative progress.