CRITIC’S PICK: What better name for an October album release than Hometown Vampire? Athens has been cooking him the past few years but rumor has it Elijah Johnston is now an Atlanta resident. Johnston is no stranger to either scene, especially Athens where he is a graduate of UGA’s Music Business Program and now fast-becoming a Georgia indie scene legend. He has toured all over the southeast, been a featured SXSW performer, and is the 2022 Vic Chesnutt Songwriter of The Year (Athens).
Somehow, with all he’s got going on, he’s had time to record his sixth and newest record, Hometown Vampire, which he is releasing via Strolling Bones Records. This refreshing, 11-song LP is a new twist on Johnston’s writing style, focusing on various fictional characters inspired by his lived experiences in a small town music scene. Historically, his writing tended to be stories and real tidbits from Johnston’s life. Now, he’s turning the pen to those around him.
“The characters labelled here as vampires refer to any of the lowlifes we see around us or in ourselves; the punisher at the bar, the chronic failure who’s always got a new scheme, the kinds of people who live in the past and stew in their bitterness. Hometown Vampire is a farewell to all the good and bad of music scene chicanery, late night shit-talking, and all the failed romances before.” — Elijah Johnston
To ring in the new album, Johnston performed in Atlanta in late September (9/28) at The Eastern and now is celebrating on the actual release date in Athens at the legendary Georgia Theatre rooftop on Oct. 6. — Jessica Goodson
From the venue:Georgia Theatre, 215 N. Lumpkin St. Athens, 30601.