Sometime earlier in the year, I was lucky to catch Elephant in Sheffield’s Green Room having strode in on the off-chance that the melodious hum I could hear from outside would be more pleasing if it was somewhat audible.
Inside, the five-piece had just ingratiated themselves into the audiences favour with the tasty bass-line which introduces their smooth track ‘Unheed’. The stark interplay between the bass and drums in the track gives way to reverberating synths and lush guitars which, as the song grows into its vibe, bleed into a euphonious shimmer of chorused chords and lilting lead guitar lines, all held together by a heavy droning bass note. Variations in pace, timbre and atmosphere illustrate an experimental bent to the band which gives depth to the immediately gratifying pop sensibility which the start of the song suggests. The offbeat groove of the drums contains the varied experiments of the instruments with a funky and playful rhythm. Beneath all this complexity, the forceful yet collected vocal line is never lost as the band retains a strong sense of balance.
Describing themselves as “somewhere between Radiohead, Portishead, Wild Beasts, Can and Four Tet”, Elephant establishes their sound as deep and well-considered without losing any of the vibrancy of pop song craft. There is wooziness to the shimmering sound and laidback edge which puts them in the stead of Tame Impala, particularly on the track ‘Lucky Ones’. Either way, Elephant have a massive sound.
With new material being recorded as of late September, it’ll be interesting to see how ‘deep’ the band goes as their song craft, and their sound in particular, has the potential to really surprise. Their Spinning Heads EP released last year is available through their Bandcamp page.