Elephant Stone is a psychedelic/power-pop/”hindie pop” quartet from Montréal. They were formed in 2009 by sitar/bass player Rishi Dhir. He had previously been in the Montréal indie rock band High Dials. He also was a highly sought-after sitar player, who has worked with the likes of Beck, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Besnard Lakes, and The Dears.
After making a bunch of records with High Dials, Dhir decided that he wanted to get away from rock music and focus more on playing sitar. He also wanted to get more into Hinduism than he was. So he did that for a while, but he found that his sitar playing was still influenced by his passion for ’60s/early ’70s rock music. Elephant Stone was meant to be a solo project centered around the sitar, but it became a full band of mostly western instruments.
As far as I know, the band name Elephant Stone is a reference to the Stone Roses song of the same name. My limited research tells me that Dhir counts Stone Roses among his influences, so it makes perfect sense.
I had never heard of Elephant Stone until I got something in the mailbag today about a different song and video by them. Today, Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco debuted the Elephant Stone video “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin”.
As brilliant as that is, I still want to focus on a different song.
“Hold Onto Yr Soul” by Elephant Stone
I love the Badfinger feel to this song. There’s also, at least to me, a bit of a Matthew Sweet vibe. And a bit of Elliot Smith. That’s all very good.
This is pretty far from what Dhir set out to do, but it’s a damn fine record, as demonstrated by the “Love the Sinner” video and the “Hold Onto Yr Soul” song.
You can buy Elephant Stone from the Elephant Stone web store here.