Boy, it’s the season for the Elephant 6—first new records from Olivia Tremor Control, Of Montreal, and Beulah, and now, Elf Power. But if the Olivia Tremor Control is busy riding along on the Magical Mystery Tour, then Elf Power are hangers-on in the Village Green Preservation Society. Whereas Elf Power may not be the pure equals of Ray Davies, they sure have studied at the feet of the master.
More Britpop and less psychedelic than most of their Elephant 6 pals, Elf Power’s approach this time around is breezy and bouncy, but never frivolous. “Olde Tyme Waves” is a jaunty English music hall-type ditty of the sort favored by Paul McCartney, while “High Atop the Silver Branches” sports a killer melody, sing-along chorus, and a toe-tapping martial beat.
Andrew Rieger’s lilting vocals are the ideal compliment to A Dream In Sound‘s treasure trove of infectious tunes and clever arrangements that employ a dizzying array of diverse instrumentation. That’s evident on “We Dream In Sound,” a mystic-tinged number, with swells of organs, mysterious sound effects, and distortion.
Elsewhere, Elf Power roam even farther afield in the nutty marching band interlude “Carnival” that improbably sounds like a cross between klezmer and mariachi. Bottom line is, I had to keep upping the rating every time I listened to this disc, as these songs became more and more addictive, rendering bland virtually everything else I was listening to.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…READ the article