The members of Grizzly Bear are fans. And so are we.
Boston area band Elephantom, a musical collective of high school and college aged musicians, are IRC’s first unsigned ‘band to watch’ of 2010. Plus, we have an exclusive new demo, “I Am Your Head,” provided by the band to IRC for all to hear.
But first, the back story.
Comparing them to the Danish band Efterklang, Grizzly Bear members recently endorsed Elephantom’s 2009 DIY debut LP, Swim. Toward the Sun. While the band were attending a Grizzly Bear show in Vancouver last year, Elephantom guitarist, trumpet player and vocalist Sam Pearce tossed a CD copy of Swim. Toward The Sun. on to the stage.
He, along with his band mates, never thought that one of indie rock’s biggest bands of 2009 would listen to the CD, let alone send Elephantom an email praising their music and wishing them success.
For any band that knows why Grizzly Bear is such a hit nowadays – largely due to their critically acclaimed 2009 release, Vecktimest – a thumbs up from GB is an enormous endorsement, and is likely to get bloggers, music sites, and most importantly, indie fans, to take notice.
According to keyboardist and vocalist, Matt Aucoin, Grizzly Bear’s email hailed the Elephantom album as “really lovely,” adding, “we are in Vancouver all listening…thanks so much for sharing this with us. I hope you guys go far.”
The band features Pearce, Aucoin, bassist and guitarist Mike Cotter, guitarist and vocalist Trudie Kaiser, drummer and guitarist Nick Pope (who designed the album cover above), and lead guitarist, bassist and drummer Zach Trahan. All six of the band members are songwriters and multi-instrumentalists.
With Swim. Towards The Sun, Elephantom have created a breath-taking, rich, beautifully composed and produced album, full of spacious orchestrations, academic-style song titles and themes, spot-on vocals and harmonies, and oozing with a musical maturity that hints at a band that is headed for bigger and better things. They exhibit an enthusiasm and natural ability to sculpt songs that combine story-telling with elements of indie rock, jazz, cabaret, classical, folk, synth pop, psychedelic rock and so on.
In response to one of our questions, the band cited their major influences as Radiohead, Broken Social Scene and The Arcade Fire. Nevertheless, Elephantom have created their own original sound that really cannot be compared to anything else we’ve heard. There’s so much happening on this album – and the diversity of songs is so profound – that you may find yourself going back to listen to it again and again, and each time, likely discover new and fantastic things in the process.
Listening to the track “Aurora Surrealis,” you can close your eyes and imagine drifting away on a cloud on a glorious summer day, lifted by soft piano keys, French horns and the gorgeous vocals of Trudie Kaiser. “Citizen of the Earth” begins theatrically, and then eases into a seductive and sensual cinematic-cabaret swagger, interrupted by big blasts of sounds like some kind of cosmic orgasm.
We are excited to share a blog exclusive with you all – a demo version of Elephantom’s newest track, “I Am Your Head,” which Aucoin hopes will be on the band’s next album, even though a release date and title for the follow up to Swim have yet to be determined.
If all the right pieces falls into place, you are likely to hear a lot more about Elephantom in 2010.
“I Am Your Head” (demo) – Elephantom, from Nick Pope’s solo album St. Deviations Attack on The Castle Of Love, and planned for release on the band’s upcoming album (date and title TBD)
“Aurora Surrealis” – Elephantom from Swim. Toward the Sun. (2009)
“Citizen of the Earth” – Elephantom from Swim. Toward the Sun. (2009)
Here’s a YouTube video of a recent live performance of “I Am Your Head,” which created so much excitement among music listeners on Indie Bands Blog, that Elephantom were voted the top band of the week this past weekend.