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Elf Power — Sunlight On The Moon

 Elf Power — Sunlight On The Moon

Elf Power — Sunlight On The Moon
¬  Elephant 6 alumni who have prospered over the years with their dreamy, delicate psychedelic pop.
Formed: 1994 in Athens, GA
Location: Athens, Georgia
Album release: October 1, 2013
Record Label: Darla/Orange Twin
Duration:     38:38
Tracks:
01. Transparent Lines      (2:46)
02. A Grey Cloth Covering My Face      (3:07)
03. Lift The Shell      (3:19)
04. Sunlight On The Moon      (2:38)
05. Grotesquely Born Anew      (3:31)
06. Things Lost      (3:23)
07. Darkest Wave      (3:00)
08. You're Never Gonna Go To Heaven      (1:59)
09. Strange Designs      (3:12)
10. Manifestations      (2:51)
11. Total Annihilation      (3:31)
12. Chromosome Blues      (2:47)
13. A Slow Change      (2:42)
CREDITS:
¬ Peter Alvanos  Drums, Mellotron, Percussion, Piano, Shaker
¬ Laura Carter  Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Slide Guitar, Sound Effects, Trumpet, Zanzithophone
¬ John Fernandes  Violin
¬ Keith Freeman  Cover Photo
¬ Matt Garrison  Engineer, Sound Effects
¬ Jamie Huggins  Bass, Hand Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Photography
¬ Jesse Mangum  Drum Machine, Engineer, Mastering
¬ Andrew Rieger  Bass, Composer, Drum Machine, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
¬ Zeke Sayer  Engineer, Sound Effects
Website: http://www.elfpower.com
MySpace: https://myspace.com/elfpower
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Elf+Power
Label: http://orangetwin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elfpower
Press: Alyssa De Hayes / Team Clermont: alyssa@teamclermont.com
Agent: Jim Romeo: jim@groundcontroltouring.com
Review by Fred ThomasScore: ****
¬  "Athens, Georgia’s DayGlo indie psych collective Elf Power started sculpting their melted-crayon lo-fi pop in the mid-’90s, eventually crafting over ten albums’ worth of their often twisted but sweetly sunny songs. Sunlight on the Moon finds Elf Power’s principal songwriter Andrew Rieger and longtime creative partner Laura Carter collaborating with players who’ve done time in Of Montreal, Great Lakes, and other bands in the pop-friendly Athens-based Elephant 6 collective.
¬  The album’s fidelity is not too far removed from the bedroom recordings of the band’s earliest days, with recording being split between several Georgian studios and Rieger’s bedroom. Several tunes also hark back to the group’s early songwriting approach of Rieger spontaneously constructing the backbones of the tunes as he recorded each individual instrument part, fleshing out lyrics and arrangements with the band as they went on. “Lift the Shell” and the bright key changes of “Total Annihilation” have the same scrappy, partially improvised feel as the Elf Power records of the late ’90s, and Rieger’s regal vocals and drifty harmonies bear similarities to fellow lo-fi hero Bob Pollard, of Guided by Voices fame. Tracks like “Grotesquely Born Anew” employ exceptionally clean drum machine beats, their electronic textures standing out amid the warmer home-recorded elements. The album is more of a return to roots for Elf Power than a major shift in direction. The sunbathed harmonies and tinny, phased-out guitar leads of “Things Lost” are pure throwbacks to the earliest Elephant 6 days, drenched in the paisley pop, small-town energy and youthful spirit of creativity that gave birth to the bands in their genus. While Sunlight on the Moon is a return to earlier inspirations, it’s by no means a step backwards. Rieger’s songs, more refined and subtle as the years have gone on, have a sense of rejuvenated inspiration to them. The extra flair of random trumpets, strange tape experimentation, and walls of fuzz bass contributed by the rest of the band just add to the colorful wash of sound, up there with the best Elf Power compositions of the past." (www.allmusic.com)
In french:
¬  Un groupe originaire d'Athens peu connu  dont je garde le garde le souvenir d'un bel album fait en collaboration avec Vic Chesnutt en 2008. A découvrir.
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REVIEW
By ROBIN HILTON; September 22, 201311:00 PM
¬  The members of Elf Power have always had a fondness for fantasy. Since forming the band nearly 20 years ago in Athens, Ga., frontman Andrew Rieger and multi-instrumentalist Laura Carter have searched for truth and meaning in imaginary worlds, spinning vast mythologies about magical lands, emerald trees, secret oceans and melting castles made of ice. Over the course of a dozen albums, they've introduced a fanciful cast of characters, from the Willowy Man and Naughty Villain to Simon (The Bird With The Candy Bar Head). Elf Power's songs — a mix of Rieger's strangely plaintive voice, sludgy guitars and an array of oddball instrumentation — have made the group one of the most idiosyncratic members of the Elephant 6 Collective, a sprawling family of like-minded, lo-fi rock bands that includes, among others, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples In Stereo and The Olivia Tremor Control.
¬  But on Elf Power's latest album, the superbly crafted Sunlight on the Moon, Rieger and company trade fantastical tales of kings and space for brooding introspection. It's a surprisingly dark turn into personal territory from a band long known for its playful, almost magical charm. It's also Elf Power's strongest, most cohesive work in a decade.
¬  Apart from introducing the steady thump of drum machines, Sunlight on the Moon at first doesn't sound that different from the rest of the band's catalog. Fuzzy guitars chug alongside acoustic strums, distressed synths, jangly percussion and curious melodies. But from the opening song, "Transparent Lines," Rieger tells us he's fallen "asleep with all the things that lie down in the dark," and "laid with demons in the night." Each track that follows finds him deep in thought on sleepless nights, as he contemplates lost youth, impending death and his own disillusionment. "I'm writhing in the dark," he sings in "Total Annihilation." "All I see is total annihilation across the land / We drag it along like a chain / and watch as it's grinding away."
¬  It's not clear whether this is a new kind of fiction for Elf Power, or whether Rieger himself is in the midst of an existential crisis. But whatever the motivation, it feels like a natural progression for the group. Elf Power's songs have long been portals leading to worlds of wondrous reflection. Sunlight on the Moon shows Rieger and Carter, now in their early 40s, sounding less playful — but still awestruck by the mysteries of the human experience, and still searching. (http://www.npr.org/)
________________________________________________________________
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
¬  Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs The Athens, Georgia-based Elf Power emerged as part of the second wave of bands linked to the Elephant 6 Recording Company collective, a coterie of like-minded lo-fi indie groups — including the Apples (In Stereo), Neutral Milk Hotel, and the Olivia Tremor Control — who shared musicians, ideas, and sensibilities. Formed by singers/multi-instrumentalists Andrew Rieger and Laura Carter, Elf Power debuted in 1995 with the self-released Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs, followed a year later by the Winter Hawk EP, which heralded the additions of bassist Bryan Helium and drummer Aaron Wegelin. The excellent When the Red King Comes appeared in late 1997, and two years later the group returned with A Dream in Sound; also in the spring of 1999, a series of live dates with the Olivia Tremor Control yielded the tour-exclusive EP Come On. Winter Is Coming followed a year later. In 2002, the group released the conceptual record Creatures (which saw the amicable departure of bassist Bryan Helium) and Nothing's Going to Happen, a collection of covers ranging from Gary Numan to the Misfits. Two years later, the group returned with Walking with the Beggar Boys, a decidedly more straightforward offering that included new members Eric Harris (formerly of the Olivia Tremor Control) and Craig McQuiston (formerly of the Glands). After switching to Rykodisc, Elf Power issued their eighth album, Back to the Web, in 2006. In a Cave followed two years later. In 2010, Elf Power returned with a self-titled studio effort dedicated to the band's longtime collaborator Vic Chestnutt, who had passed away in 2009. Arriving in 2013, Elf Power's 11th full-length, Sunlight on the Moon, was a return to the spontaneous creation and bedroom-recording process of their earliest days.
Albums:
¬  Curse of Yoth-Bal-Tzar (cassette) — Self-Released (1994)
¬  Hekinah Degul (Cassette) — Self-Released (1994)
¬  Vainly Clutching at Phantom LimbsSelf-released / Drug Racer / Arena Rock Recording Co. (1995/1999)
¬  When the Red King Comes — Arena Rock Recording Co. / Elephant 6 (1997)
¬  A Dream in Sound — Arena Rock Recording Co. / Elephant 6 (1999)
¬  The Winter Is Coming — Sugar Free Records / Elephant 6 (2000)
¬  Creatures — spinART (2002)
¬  Nothing's Going to Happen — Orange Twin (2002)
¬  Walking with the Beggar Boys — Low Transit Industries / Orange Twin (2004)
¬  Back to the Web — Rykodisc (2006)
¬  Treasures from the Trash Heap — Self-Released (2006)
¬  In a Cave — Rykodisc (2008)
¬  Dark Developments (With Vic Chesnutt and the Amorphous Strums) — Orange Twin (2008)
¬  Elf Power — Orange Twin (2010)
¬  Sunlight on the Moon — Orange Twin (2013)
EPs:
¬  The Winter Hawk EP (Cassette/7") — Self-released / Kindercore Records (1995)
¬  Come On — Drug Racer (1999)
Singles:
¬  Kindercore Singles Slub: May split single with Great Lakes (7") — Kindercore Records (2000)
¬  "Jane/Needles in the Camel's Eyes" — Shifty Disco (2000)
¬  "High Atop the Silver Branches" — Shifty Disco (2001)
¬  "The Naughty Villain" (7") — Shifty Disco (2002)
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Elf Power — Sunlight On The Moon

 

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