I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, but I like to think that I grew up in Indiana. College and graduate school and the years after: that's when you do your real growing. I never long for Ohio: never think of it as home; but every once in a while, I think Bloomington could pull me back. I spent a lot of active time on the streets of Bloomington. I rode a lot of miles on my bike, and ran a lot of miles on my feet, and walked my dog all over that town. I remember the first time I saw "Elephant Micah" advertised on the marquee at The Bishop--a small music venue on South Walnut Street. I thought it was a funny name: my name. But I never managed to get to a show. I saw the name several more times, and even planned to go when Elephant Micah was on tour with Magnolia Electric Company, but our worlds never did collide, exactly. Nevertheless, I feel like I've been a fan from afar for several years. And just now, I was blown away with the single, Pearl Bryan. Songs like this sound like southern Indiana: narrative songs. Long, slow songs that ache. Murder ballads. Joseph O'Connell is Elephant Micah, and he has a beautifully simple voice. The story he tells is true: about a woman from Indiana who was killed--decapitated--and the men who hanged for the crime. They were the last men hanged in Newport, Kentucky. The sadness here is real: it echoes and echoes until there's a small sense of calm.