Psych-Pop Act ELEPHANT STONE Released A New Gloomy Concept Album – Discover ‘HOLLOW’ Here Track By Track…

17 February 2020

Last Friday, on Valentine’s Day, Canadian psych-pop outfit ELEPHANT STONE – formed in 2008 – launched their sixth album, titled HOLLOW. An intriguing and fascinating concept lonplayer with an overall spellbinding and spiritual resonance despite the gloomy context of the LP, making me think of George Orwell‘s brilliant dystopian novel 1984 but npw with the social media as Big Brother. Mastermind, singer/songwriter, and renowned sitarist Rishi Dhir, worked, in between creating his own work, with legend Beck and cult bands such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre and he started recently new projects the Acid House Ragas and the wonderful MIEN, with members of The Horrors and The Black Angels.

About the new Elephant Stone record Dhir said: “I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who are trying to find a way out. They are looking for meaning and something to believe in… or nothing to believe in. We all want the same thing but are trying to achieve it in different ways. With this in mind, we wrote and recorded this new album. I set forth writing a song-suite telling of a world of unhappy souls who have lost connection with each other.” He also revealed that he was inspired by The Who’s rock opera ‘Tommy’, Pretty Things’ fourth album ‘S.F. Sorrow’ and the second side of The Beatles’ classic ‘Abbey Road’ LP.

As a devoted Elephant Stone myself, having seen the band playing live several times,
it’s a great pleasure to have Rishi Dhir guiding us through Hollow track by track…

The songs


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Here’s Rishi‘s track by track breakdown

1. Hollow World
“This was the trickiest song for the album as I knew it was to be the opener and I wanted to make sure it pulled the listener in. And it’s the beginning of the whole Hollow concept. I rewrote the track a few times before arriving on this version. I think having my 9-year old daughter sing on this really helped elevate the song.”

2. Darker Time, Darker Space
“I had a Pete Townshend-ish guitar riff lying around and messed around with some
weird vocals sounds with a Neu!-ish back beat. This is where things really start
going bad on earth…”

3. The Court and Jury
“This began with a sitar riff and was initially just an intro for Land of Dead. I decided to make it it’s own thing telling of the court system who decides who will leave for New Earth.”

4. Land of Dead
“Building on the same musical scale used in Court and Jury (bhairavi scale in G) I wrote
this riff on sitar as well. I injected with some Pretty Things/Sabbath stoner rock:) New earth is also dead.”


5. Keep the Light Alive

“The last of humanity arrives on new earth to find it devoid of life. The children ask the parents for guidance and support. I brought in my daughter and a couple of her friends
to sing. I love this song!”

6. We Cry for Harmonia
“The adults begin worshipping Harmonia (spaceship) as their god and saviour. They
lack skills for living in such a harsh climate. Musically, this song was an extension of
the choruses of Keep the Light Alive… I like the folky/Dylan-esque verses which then
go into an Everly Brothers-ish part and then into outer space.”

7. Harmonia
“This is the comedown/epilogue of side A. The last of humanity turn against their new god
Musically, amazing tabla performance by long time collaborator Shawn Mativetsky and my lovely wife Kirsty on backing vocals. I really like the middle 8 on these tunes.”

8. I See You
“This is one of the older songs writing for the album. Very proud of the middle 8 on
this one too… got this gothy vibe to it…”

9. The Clampdown

“Wrote this track on piano. Interesting fact: My piano was tune to 443hz rather than the standard 440hz. So, I had tuned all my other instruments to 443… was tedious but very rewarding in the end! Love Robbie’s guitar tones on this one.”

10. Fox on the Run
“Another older track from the album… the final version is built on a solo demo/jam I did
in my old studio in 2017. I couldn’t see how I’d be able to improve upon the demo, so just kept as is and layered tracks on top. A definite highlight of the album for me.”

11. House on Fire
My family had a fire at our house in late 2017 and then I went on tour supporting
the Dream Syndicate two days later. It was really hard on my wife and kids… this song
is pretty much me saying I’m sorry and that should’ve stayed home to help them.

12. A Way Home
An extension of the last song…. me returning home after leaving my family to fend for themselves… also ties in well with the album concept.

Thank you, Rishi for guiding us trough ‘HOLLOW’.
May the road rise with Elephant Stone!

Listen and/or buy HOLLOW right here.

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ELEPHANT STONE: Facebook – Instagram

Fervid Singer/Songwriter ATTAWALPA Drops Groovy Slo-Mo Single ‘HOLLIDAY’

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

17 February 2020

Artist: ATTAWALPA

Who: A South American singer-songwriter based in London who’s “music is the sum of his influences, a colourful and culturally rich Schmorgers board of sounds, textures, emotions, and grooves from eras across a multitude of genres; sitting comfortably in between rock, alternative and pop spaces. His Peruvian heritage plays a part too.”

Track: HOLLIDAY – 3rd single off his debut EP ‘Spells‘ landing 3rd March – “I wanted
Holliday to sound like Kanye West traveled in time to produce Neil Young at the height
of their careers – Kanye ‘Dark Twisted Fantasy’ era producing ‘On The Beach Neil era!”
says Attawalpa

Score: ‘Holliday‘ is a sensual, soothing slo-mo groove with a glam touch reflecting the
desire to get away from the daily rut and drift away. The dreamy musing is spiced with what sounds like a full electrifying orchestra. The captivating chorus gets instantly under your skin and in your head, the bewitching backing vocals add a dramatic effect and the piano sequence, in the end, is just beautiful. You’ll embrace this mesmerizing and bluesy yearning after one spin.

Sit down, relax, close your eyes and float away here…

While you’re here check the two previous shared tracks Take A Bite and Borrowed Time


(Photo: Tom Beard)

ATTAWALPA: Facebook

Bloodcurdling Sound Explorers ELEFANT Triumph At Their Euphoric Album Release Show…

16 February 2020

A couple of weeks ago Belgian bloodcurdling sound explorers ELEFANT released
their excellent second album BEJAHUNG. A helter-skelter motherrocker, a magnetic record. A more accessible work than their debut, except for the schizophrenic and transcendental debaucheries. The experimental misfits have entered another sound territory with layers of special effects, some blistering knockouts, some puzzling disturbance, and an overall refreshing new Sturm Und Drang identity. Last Friday
on Valentine’s Day the four horsemen of the Apocalypse presented their fresh excesses in my hometown Ghent, Belgium. Here are the highs and lows of
a memorable and euphoric release show.

Highs

1. It’s early in the year but the sizzling opener of the album and the concert
Ultra Plus Ultra will be, unquestionably, one of the best knockouts of 2020.

2. It’s early in the year but their new ace longplayer Bejahung
will be, unquestionably, one of the most fascinating LPs of 2020.

3. It’s early in the year but this concert will be, unquestionably,
one of the hottest performances of 2020.

4. Band and audience were into each other and had an instant bond
from the get-go. making me think of an euphoric gospel gathering
with lots of love in the air.

5. I didn’t think for a second about the fact that I saw the outlandish
bohemians for the first time without their white, bizarre scientific
engineer’s outfits and their faces creepily smeared with white chalk
Yep, the music was the one and only overwhelming and intoxicating
winner of the night.

6. Their setlist was a flawless steamroller adrenalizing the packed venue
from start to finish. It was a non-stop mind-blowing experience.

7. the visual effects on the big screen matched the rip-roaring turbulence on stage.

8. The songs played, from their otherworldly debut LP Konark und Bonark 
fitted perfectly in the sonic whirlwind.

9. The wayward bohemians dived into the crowd at the end of the orgastic event
and hugged several exhilarated spectators. I never saw this at a Cure concert.

10. We all went home with a big smile on our sweaty faces.

LOWS
None

Picture This…


Let’s dance


Alien guest


Schizophrenic frontman


A kick-ass triumph

Stream/buy BEJAHUNG right here…


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ELEFANT: Facebook

(concert pics by Turn Up The Volume!)

Belgian Dream Pop Act AND THEN CAME FALL Released Brand New Mixed Emotions Single ‘SHOULD WE’…

Reveries for the laziest day of the week

16 February 2020


(photo: Joke Hendrix)

In 2018 Belgian daydreamers AND THEN CAME FALL, with key members Annelies
Tanghe en Sam Pieter Janssens
their affecting and gentle self-titled debut album.

Now they returned with a new single from their upcoming second longplayer, out
later in the year. ‘SHOULD WE’ is about what we all need. “What would we do without
love? And what if love slips between our fingers, no matter how much we try to hold them?
What do we do when we feel the hope disappears like a ghost leaves the house.”

This delicate musing is an intimate and vulnerable beauty dealing with doubtful sentiments. Mixed emotions about love are the key theme. Musically it’s a starry-eyed, melodious ballad with a melancholic and romantic resonance. Tender guitar lines, a warm synth sequence, delightfully arranged and Annelies Tanghe‘s seductive voice reminding me of the moodiest moments of Sharon Van Etten and St.Vincent. Music for the twilight hours.

Capture the breakable sensitivity here…

AND THEN CAME FALL: Facebook

‘Wide Awake!’ By PARQUET COURTS – Released 2018

Old and new albums to make your day

16 February 2020

Band: Parquet Courts (New York City based)
Album: Wide Awake! – their sixth LP
Released: 18 May 2018
Pitchfork wrote: Parquet Courts enlisted Danger Mouse
to produce an LP of joyfully absurd, danceable rock music.
It is straightforward but alien, simple but endlessly referential.
Full review here. Score: 8/10
The clips: Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience /
Wide Awake / Mardi Gras Beads / Total Football

– ALMOST HAD TO START A FIGHT/ IN AND OUT OF PATIENCE –

– WIDE AWAKE –

– MARDI GRAS BEADS –

– TOTAL FOOTBALL –

Album in full…

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‘Sunday Morning’ by THE VELVET UNDERGOUND – Released November 1966

Top singles from the past…

16 February 2020

Band: The Velvet Underground
Single: Sunday Morning
B-side: Femme Fatale 
Released: November 1966
Album: The Velvet Underground & Nico
Debut LP – with the banana on the cover – released March 1967
Note 1: Lou Reed & John Cale wrote the song to be sung by Nico.
In the end, it was Reed who sang it, with backing vocals by Nico.
Note 2: The use of the celesta  for the track was an idea of Cale
Note 3: The timeless song was about paranoia (suggested by Andy Warhol)
“Watch out, the world’s behind you, there’s always someone watching you”

Here we go…

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: Facebook