Menno Versteeg, the founder of Canadian label Royal Mountain Records (Mac DeMarco, Pottery, Orville Peck) has shared ‘Elevator’, the new single from his Mav Karlo project. Produced by Chris Coady, the song offers a candid exploration of Menno’s experiences with mental health and features Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls on backing vocals: ‘Whether it’s a hypomanic episode or a depression, the feeling at the time is so all encompassing and real that it seems like that is the only reality that I have ever known.’
Opening with a blast of computer game-style effects, the acoustic-based alt-folk song opens with Menno revealing how some days he feels like he’s Superman but on others it’s more like he’s bacteria that makes all his loved ones sick. He discusses how on some mornings he’ll brush his teeth and eat well, ready for the day ahead, but then this can be counteracted by evenings spent with his body shaking: ‘I wish I could find some middle ground, instead of up and down’; ‘Elevator, please stop on my floor because I can’t go up or can’t go down anymore’.
Potent drums kick in around two and a half minutes in – taking the song from Big Thief introspection to Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever-style anthem in one fell swoop – as Menno declares ‘just doing alright would be more than alright’ and pleads ‘please let me stay where I am just OK, and day after day after day after day is the same’.