The Elected’s debut album, Me First, is absolutely cute. Maybe it’s because the cover is decorated with a pudgy pig encircled by gold tinged flowers. It doesn’t hurt that Blake Sennett, guitarist of Los Angeles’ own Rilo Kiley, sings in a high, soothing manner that’s reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith and his lyrics are mainly anecdotal accounts on past relationships.

With all cuteness aside, Sennett’s songwriting is worthy of applause, not straying far from the country-influenced indie rock that Rilo Kiley does so well. His writing is catchy and consistent and doesn’t fail to capture his varying emotions.

Like an authentic country album there are plenty of guitar twangs, though it’s not weighed down by antiquated sounds. Imagine some backwater skids somehow having a firm enough grasp on contemporary technology so that country rock tunes come out with plenty of digitized effects and synths layered throughout.

Me First is a fine example of what so many artists are doing these days: taking an old genre and adding to it a more updated feel. Though the Elected is blessed with a great songwriter and plenty of credibility, their debut is not nearly as captivating and innovative as the folk and country predecessors that they so obviously draw from.

That’s not to say that Me First isn’t an enjoyable listen. But I know that if I ever do grow tired of this album, I can give it to my niece. After all, she loves cutesy pigs.
[Eddie Kim would like two Coachella tickets. No, he would not like to supersize that. Thank you.]