This is my second song posting of the day, so I won’t go the “if you only listen to one song tonight…” route.
Elephant is the London-based indie pop duo of Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck. They met at a house party in the spring of 2010 and started working together very soon after that. They quickly put out a few singles and an EP which all received warm reviews. However, I’d never heard of them until yesterday. I got an announcement in the mailbag about this single, and I was really drawn by the way the one-sheet was written. One section of it in particular had me lured. It didn’t describe the song or the band’s “sound”. Instead, it described the band dynamic.
Surely 2012 would be theirs…
But all was not well with Elephant – Amelia and Christian, had parted ways in a Fleetwood Mac style bout of acrimony. Then Christian broke his wrist (which may or may not be related to the aforementioned acrimony) rendering him unable to play. It looked unlikely that they would ever write together again.
Sometimes, though, you have to realize when you’ve got something good…
I was already thinking that I definitely needed to give this special attention. When I headed over to soundcloud to hear the song, I loved it.
This is that song.
“Skyscraper” by Elephant
Right away, it’s easy to see why people compared their earlier singles to the “Brill Building pop sound” and “late 1950s doo-wop”. It’s that sound perfectly meshed with atmospheric dream-pop that makes the Elephant sound.
One of the things that I really like about this song is the way the ghost-like “choir” of backing vocals is juxtaposed against Amelia’s strong yet angelic lead vocal. Those backing vocals mirror the synthy organ bursts and are almost reminiscent of Grizzly Bear. Almost. EDITAs it turns out, that bit is sampled from a 1967 song called “Please Love Me Forever” by Bobby Vinton.
While the rhythm section is certainly the anchor of the whole thing, it’s easy to get bowled over by Amelia’s vocals.
This song is the kind of thing that leaves me thinking about it even while I’m listening to something else.
This song, which is backed with “Spies” will be released in physical form on March 26. You can buy a digital form now via iTunes.
This is, as the one-sheet says, ” a strong, confident marker that Elephant’s debut album will be worth braving broken hearts and broken bones for”.
The debut album will be out sometime this year.