Elf Power, A Dream In Sound

by PopMatters Staff

 

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.

cover art

Elf Power

A Dream in Sound

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.

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