Polish Hill’s Elias Khouri makes a bold, glammy statement with his latest single, “Wanted You To Know.”
Songs about music are an essential part of many genres’ canons. From Billy Joel to A Tribe Called Quest, Chuck Berry to Natasha Bedingfield, artists have drawn inspiration from their own creative processes for decades. An even more specific subtype of this subtype is the “making it” jam, in which the artist takes a victory lap after gaining some hard-won exposure or respect. Elias Khouri’s “Wanted You To Know” drops at a time when the guitarist and singer is preparing to embark on a multi-state tour, and the track is his way of celebrating. Overtop Queenly piano chords and dramatic guitar, Khouri tells a story of rejection, disappointment, shit-talking, smoky dive bar shows for “crowds of one,” undergirded by a belief that “some day I’d play the big stage […] some day I’d make the front page.” That success may have come, but don’t think for a second that it was easy, as the song’s belted chorus makes clear. A bombastic instrumental interlude featuring an acrobatic guitar solo and some quavering organ clinches the song’s 70s-throwback bona fides, making for a rousing, retro listen.