Out now! Indie rock duo from Des Moines, Iowa debuts first single, “Meet Me Halfway.”

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"There’s so many people out there, people who adore music, that wish they could learn an instrument or dust off that microphone they bought on a whim and have an earnest go at making music. The same old excuse that we turn to is that we don’t have enough time. Until the American covid lockdown of 2020, Iowa resident Marissa Kephart would have counted herself in this group, but suddenly with so much time on her hands, she started a 20-year goal of learning the guitar and taking voice lessons.

Around the same time, multi-instrumentalist and producer Scott Yoshimura opened up his home studio to friends and colleagues, one of whom was Kephart. When she arrived with a demo version of ‘Meet Me Halfway’, the pair discovered a mutual interest in the same bands and an enjoyment for working together. And thus, ELISON was born!

As it turns out, ‘Meet Me Halfway’ has become the debut single from this newly formed midwest indie-rock duo. Below Kephart reflects on the journey that brought the project this far:

“To watch this song grow into the track that it is from a seed of an idea while I fumbled over chords on my acoustic guitar to this full, forward driving, at times powerful, song feels very much like a metaphor of myself and my first year journey into music. No longer holding onto the things that held me back, I’m exploring new creative outlets that I always wished I had earlier in my life, but was never brave enough to do.”

The track itself centers around another courageous leap, that is leaving an unhealthy relationship. From the opening, ‘Meet Me Halfway’ quite literally propels the listening into a driving motion, moving us as far away from the toxic situation as possible. These marching guitar chords and drums persist throughout, while the delicate synth keys indicate hope on the horizon. It’s the chorus though where things really pick up; shoegazey strings and an incredibly catchy hook that’ll having you singing “I don’t wanna be in love if you can’t meet me halfway” at the top of your liberated lungs.

We seriously love ELISON‘s sound and we’ll be listening out for more."

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"I promise, the chorus of the following title is guaranteed to go through your head for a while after listening to it. 'Meet Me Halfway' is not only a catchy tune, but also one of those tracks that stylistically reminds us of some fantastic 90s productions. It's the latest single by the US American duo Elison, whose incredibly well-done indie pop / rock sound we don't want to withhold from you. 

It is especially the truly warm and balanced lead voice of the singer that shapes the song, especially in the verses with her delicate vein and in the chorus, on the other hand, with full expression. This is accompanied by a very pleasant and rhythmic guitar arrangement, which is enriched by subtle synthesizer sounds. Lyrically, 'Meet Me Halfway' tells, among other things, of a failed love relationship, which, however, gives us as listeners a hopeful and motivating energy on the way. A clear recommendation on our part, be sure to stop by Elison on Spotify yourself and stay up to date with other new releases."

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"In 2020, and after twenty years of hesitation, Kephart finally decided to pick up a guitar in her newfound free time. 'Meet Me Halfway' was the first demo to make it to Yoshimura's studio, where he contributed his production wisdom to Kephart's extraordinary songwriting skills, resulting in a debut that is set to take over the indie-rock universe.

“I’m a bit of an optimist and I often find myself staying in relationships far longer than they deserve. The realization to move on takes time but when it does there’s a sense of empowerment in the awareness...”

Emotional maturity meets a youthful sound inspired by Big Thief and My Bloody Valentine in this powerhouse of a track. Guitars chug along with unparalleled resolve next to Kephart's assured vocal, making for a unique sound that may well skyrocket Elison to the top of their game. This duo is certainly one to watch."

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"After spending the last few months building and cultivating their sound, Midwest indie-rock duo Elison have now introduced themselves to the world with their spectacular debut single 'Meet Me Halfway'.

Channelling a smooth and tranquil aesthetic from start to finish, 'Meet Me Halfway' makes for a wonderfully warm introduction to their sound. With its driven guitar direction, soaring hooks, and some truly uplifting vocals layered throughout, these two look set for big things in the months ahead.

So with the new single available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and influences over the years."


"The first single of Midwest indie rock duo, elison, is a great indie rock gem, driving down a desolate highway at night, blasting your favorite song after leaving an unhealthy relationship. 90s vibes in this one!"

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"Iowan Marissa Kephart says this release has been 20 years in the making, and it wasn't until the global pandemic that she was afforded the time and headspace to finally release some music. She came together with multi-instrumentalist and producer Scott Yoshimura to form the group Elison. What has been produced is a fusion of varying musical influences from the likes of Cat Power and My Bloody Valentine to name a few. However, they have managed to fuse the sounds of their influences into an entirely unique offering that provides a joyous singalong chorus to accompany the steady, driving feel of the verses. It has an atmospheric, immersive feel about it that allows you to really enter the headspace of Marissa and not just hear the lyrics, but feel them too. A really strong debut release."

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"With a Cat Power sense of lived in vocals and a Soccer Mommy sense of lo-fi, laconic cool, this Marissa Kephart led project joins the Palehound, Snail Mail, Girl in Red style legions of brilliant female, jangly lo-fi / bedroom-pop acts."

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During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, many people started to pursue interests they did not have time for previously. One of these people is US-based singer-songwriter, Marissa Kephart. Add established multi-instrumentalist Scott Yoshimura and you have indie-pop duo Elison. While Yoshimura has over two decades of experience in the music industry, Elison was formed in 2020/2021 making the pair relative newbies in the music scene. Yet, despite their newbie status, they have featured in notable blogs like Music For The Misfits, Sinusoidal Music, Talk About Pop Music, Clout and Less Than 1000 Followers attaining global recognition. The latest single is ‘Meet Me Halfway’.

Inspired by the likes of Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine, Sparklehorse and Slow Pulp, one would imagine a rather innovative sound from the duo, and that is exactly what you get. Their debut single ‘Meet Me Halfway’ is upbeat, buoyant and jovial but with a sense of melancholy about the track. Recorded and produced in Yoshimura’s home studio, ‘Meet Me Halfway’ fuses dynamic guitars with steady drums and keyboards throughout the sonic tapestry. While the producer has many years of skill, it is the polished execution of Kephart’s rich inexperienced vocals that is astounding.

The flowing melody is attention-grabbing in itself, but it is the underlying meaning that shows true depth. As I mentioned, the song has a melancholic quality, however, the personal narrative leans toward an empowering tune. Elison shares that ‘Meet Me Halfway is “…about leaving unhealthy relationships behind. The track pulls you in with its immersive atmospheric mood, then propels you forward with its consistent driving motion. It’s both powerful and hopeful in messaging.”

Kaleidoscopic in many ways, Elison has created a track filled with tenderness, insightfulness and nostalgic reflection. Kephart’s vocals enhance the poignancy of ‘Meet Me Halfway’ adding a sense of sincerity to the honest track. My favourite part has to be the ending with Kephart singing the catchy last lines of the song, “meet me halfway” without instrumentation. It has a forcefulness in its soft tone that resonates and leaves you spellbound. I cannot wait for more from this talented duo.

In addition to the single, Elison released an official music video for ‘Meet Me Halfway’. Please note: this video uses strobe-like lighting effects and can trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

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"Des Moines duo, elison just released their debut single, “Meet Me Halfway.” Mixing a mid-tempo strumming acoustic guitar backbone with synth flourish, the track is reminiscent of artists like Rilo Kiley. When the electric guitar kicks in for the arena-sized chorus, you can see why the band described the song as “driving down a desolate highway at night, blasting your favorite song after leaving an unhealthy relationship.”

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“Meet Me Halfway” is the first single by the American duo elison, composed by Marissa Kephart and Scott Yoshimura. Their sound is indie rock with layers of shoegaze and dream pop bringing out the best of the sound already explored by names like Yo La Tengo. Elison makes the classic look original and interesting again, “Meet Me Halfway” is his debut single and already hits the world completely ready and looking like a veteran band. It really is a memorable, dynamic and completely enchanting song. Mixing heavy, distorted guitars with light keyboard touches and Marissa's mature voice, it's hard to wait for new material from these two after this start here."

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"With hard electronic guitar riffs that counter with calm, soft female vocals, elison’s “Meet Me Halfway” is the perfect song to chill with this weekend! Check out elison and maybe “Meet Me Halfway” will be your new favorite!"

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Good morning and welcome back to The Study Lounge. It is finally Friday and we have been welcomed with a bit of rainy weather this morning here in Michigan. We hope that wherever you are, rain or shine, you are ready for a lovely Friday filled with bright, positive energy. Today we plan on showcasing a few artists and songs that we felt were perfect for a lovely Friday such as today. To get the ball rolling we are going to be checking out the debut single of an up and coming Dream Pop duo that really caught our attention this week. So if you all are ready, let’s jump in and learn about Elison and their debut release, ‘Meet Me Halfway’.

Elison is the name of the up an coming musical duo made up of, Marissa Kekphard and Scott Yoshimura. Marissa plays guitar and performs vocals while Scott is a multi-instrumentalist and producer. The duo began in 2020 after Marissa finally decided to pursue her dream of making music after waiting 20 years. Using her newfound courage and free time gained during the lockdown, Marissa began taking vocal lessons and playing the guitar. She recorded her first demo and took it to her music teacher Scott. The two quickly found out that their styles and musical ambitions aligned perfectly. Since then Elison was formed and the demo we spoke of earlier would end up being their debut release and the track that we are going to shine a light on today. Let’s take a look at ‘Meet Me Halfway’.

‘Meet Me Halfway’ opens with slightly distorted guitar chords and an uplifting percussion pattern that set the tone for the song going forward. Shortly after, you are greeted with dreamy, atmospheric vocals that immediately grab your attention and hook you in. We asked the duo on what the meaning behind the track was and they explained that, “Meet Me Halfway is about leaving unhealthy relationships behind.” The overall soundscape is lovely and spacious. You can tell the attention to detail in every chord and every melody. Marissa really shines through with her vocal performance on this song. ‘Meet Me Halfway’ displays the dynamic nature of Elison and sets the tone for the rest of their projects going forwards.

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Elison are a brand-new American indie-rock duo, comprised of Marissa Kephart (vocals, guitar) and Scott Yoshimura (multi-instrumentalist, producer). After 20 years of wishing, the lockdown finally gave Kephart the time (and courage) to pick up playing guitar and start taking voice lessons. Meet Me Halfway was her first demo, which she brought to Yoshimura to help with her song-writing. Quickly, they discovered they were both inspired by bands such as SparklehorseDinosaur Jr.My Bloody Valentine and Soccer Mommy. This led to the formation of their two-piece band, elison.

Meet Me Halfway is the duo’s debut single. Dealing with leaving unhealthy relationships behind, it’s both powerful and hopeful in messaging. The track has an immersive atmospheric mood, powered by a driving groove.

View Site >>

“Meet Me Halfway” is the first single by the American duo elison, composed by Marissa Kephart and Scott Yoshimura. Their sound is indie rock with layers of shoegaze and dream pop bringing out the best of the sound already explored by names like Yo La Tengo. Elison makes the classic look original and interesting again, “Meet Me Halfway” is his debut single and already hits the world completely ready and looking like a veteran band. It really is a memorable, dynamic and completely enchanting song. Mixing heavy, distorted guitars with light keyboard touches and Marissa's mature voice, it's hard to wait for new material from these two after this start here.

View Site >>


After 20 years of wanting to make her own music, Marissa Kephart, from the duo Elison, succeeds and better late than never. In all her glory, alongside her counterpart Scott Yoshimura, Elison manages to create on her debut single 'Meet Me Halfway', in my opinion, an instrumental hybrid of The Killers with the voice of Phoebe Bridgers or Big Thief.

This unique sound that we find here talks about the act of leaving a toxic relationship in the past. It takes elements of an atmospheric rock that leads to a powerful marching beat with a strong message. Perfect song also for fans of Dinosaur Jr, Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine.

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After 20 years of desiring to release a song, Marissa Kephart teamed up with multi-instrumentalist product Scott Yoshimura to form the talented duo, Elison and compose their wonderful first single Meet Me Halfway.

Indie folk rock delicious is Meet Me Halfway, high quality music made by talented people, lyrics made with the soul and sung with a voice that sounds like an angel, it was worth the wait, Marissa comes with the perfect vocalization, at the ideal pace.

An emotional, beautiful single that easily floats between pop, alternative and folk rock, Yoshimura comes with a lot of talent also in producing the single that was divine.

We love knowing this track and hope they release a new single soon, as the Elison project is very good and deserves to grow worldwide.

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Elison share their spellbinding debut single ‘Meet Me Halfway’.
A lockdown success story, Elison came into being when Marissa Kephart fulfilled her lifetime dream and began to take voice and guitar lessons from Scott Yoshimura. The duo quickly formed a creative partnership, blending together Marissa’s vulnerability and early song-writing prowess with Scott’s experience and technical know-how. ‘Meet Me Halfway’ is their debut track, but it already feels like a product of a seasoned collaborative effort. With such a glorious beginning, it is exciting to see what Elison have next in store.

Opening with a few playful synth chords, ‘Meet Me Halfway’ launches into a blanket of textured, shoegazey guitars, crunching gently like autumn leaves. Marissa’s vocals fluctuate between indulgent depth and girlish lightness, growing progressively more urgent with each new wave of the chorus. Detailing the moment of letting go from an unhappy relationship, this track is a hopeful ode to personal strength and resilience, vividly capturing relatable feelings and scenarios with unaffected ease.

Melodic and delightfully catchy, ‘Meet Me Halfway’ has the sound of a classic – the kind of track you can come back to over and over again.

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