Elephant 6 collective members and Athens natives Elf Power are returning with their thirteenth proper album and their first album in three years. On Darla’s website, you can play thirty second previews of every song and this album’s not due to release until October 1st – an oddity and nicety all wrapped in to one package. Their Elephant 6 history affords some of what the listener is to expect from them on Sunlight on the MoonÂ – lo-fi rambunctious psychedelic rock and pop. Obviously, with only thirty second previews, you can only assume so much but if you’re a fan of Elf Power and you’re familiar with their discography then you know they do not deviate from what they can do best – solid lo-fi psych rock – so I think you can trust them to deliver with this release. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? However, the entire title track is available to stream via Soundcloud which I’ve linked below. To preview Sunlight on the Moon click through the Buy Now link, and see what you think of it. Cheers!
Vinyl LP limited edition of 100 blue vinyl. Comes with a code for a free download.
Elf Power formed in 1994 and over the last 19 years have released twelve albums, two eps, a handful of singles, while touring North America, Europe, and Japan many times. Albums such as 1998's Dave Fridmann-produced "A Dream In Sound" and 2008's collaboration with the late Vic Chesnutt, "Dark Developments" have cemented the bands' reputation as the finest purveyors of modern melodic psychedelic folk rock around. Their latest album, "Sunlight On The Moon" combines the scuzzy, sleazy recording qualities of their early lo-fi masterworks with their powerful live bombast, with experiments in Kraftwerk-styled/Eno-esque drum machine minimalism, into a seamless, perfectly flowing whole. The album's release in October coincides with American tour dates with the recently revived Neutral Milk Hotel, with whom Elf Power did their first big national tour 15 years ago in 1998! Many more headlining shows throughout America and Europe are planned for the fall and spring. Singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger and longtime collaborator multi-instrumentalist Laura Carter are joined by James Huggins (Of Montreal/Great Lakes) on bass, and Peter Alvanos on drums, though all the members play a wide variety of instruments on the recordings. Longtime collaborator Bryan Poole (Of Montreal) still joins the band on guitar at live shows.
The band recorded the latest record in a variety of settings ranging from singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger's home studio, to Athens, GA's The Glow studio, to Lavonia, GA's Gypsy Farm Studios, a long derelict country music theatre located in rural Georgia. Newly renovated and transformed into a recording studio, the beautiful auditorium hosted concerts from the likes of Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and George Jones throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The album's title originates from accounts Rieger read of astronauts who described their experience of walking on the moon as disorienting and hallucinatory due to the utter darkness of the shadows on the moon, describing their own shadows as "pieces of night following them around". Some of the songs sprung from a return to Elf Power's original mode of songwriting, writing and recording the song simultaneously without rehearsal. Songs like "Lift the Shell", "A Grey Cloth Covering My Face" and "Things Lost" were recorded as they were being written with Rieger playing all of the basic instrumentation and other band members later embellishing the creations with their own flavors. Often, a more fully rehearsed "full band" version was recorded as well, but the more minimalistic original versions were preferred for their stranger, looser qualities.
Some songs like the title track and "Total Annihilation" reflect the band's muscular and melodic live sound, while other songs like "Transparent Lines" and "Grotesquely Born Anew" combine drum machines with real drums and percussion to create a unique melding of artificial and organic elements, recalling early experiments like the classic track "Finally Free" from the band's 1994 debut "Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs". This return to the group's murky roots are directly acknowledged in a lyrical nod on "A Grey Cloth Covering My Face" as Rieger sings "And now I feel it starting all over again, Here I am still vainly clutching at those phantom limbs"
1. Transparent Lines
2. A Grey Cloth Covering My Face
3. Lift the Shell
4. Sunlight on the Moon
5. Grotesquely Born Anew
6. Things Lost
7. Darkest Wave
8. You're Never Gonna Go To Heaven
9. Strange Designs
11. Total Annihilation
12. Chromosome Blues
13. A Slow Change
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive