It’s all Academic.

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The Academic may still be in their teens but this hugely promising four-piece band from Mullingar have already accrued a growing fanbase thanks to some impressive live shows and the release of debut single ‘Bear Claws’ earlier this year.  Frontman Craig Fitzgerald fills us in on the story so far…

Can you tell us how the band got together?

Well, firstly, we all went to school together and started playing music around the same age. Three of us started our first band at the age of 14 and began writing music together.  It was a long process of perfecting our sound and when we found Dean, our drummer, it all started to come together.  At this stage,  the band’s average age was 17 and we began to find a lot of common musical interests between us. This was when we became known as The Academic and really began to commit to original music.

Apparently you guys are either still in school or beginning college. How do you balance your educational responsibilities with band activities?

Yeah, that’s true! Three of our members  (Craig, Matt and Dean) are in college and Stephen is doing his Leaving Cert this year.  We have always made time for music no matter what school life has thrown at us, but this year we have to be organised with rehearsals and writing because of exams and college.  But any spare time that we have is devoted to music and gigging.

For such a young band, you seem to have come right out of the gate with well-crafted, strongly melodic songs and a sense of self-belief. How did you achieve this?

Honestly, we knew straight away getting into the band together that original music was going to be our direction and since our first practice we have never lost direction or our originality. We were very aware of the fact that we would have to write the bad songs to get the good ones and we believe that we have found our sound. We just hope people continue to enjoy it and come see our live shows. We have our own formulae for writing songs and we keep it very communal and simple!

What bands or artists have influenced you? Are you tapping into what is around at the moment or have you delved into your parents’ record collection?

The four of us actually have suprisingly different musical influences and backgrounds which I think really benefits us when it comes to making music. But there is definitely a mixture of our own personal taste and our parents’ records.  For example, The Strokes and Arcade Fire would be bands that we have found really helpful for writing and then we constantly have Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan playing so that’s definitely our parents’ music rubbing off on us.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry, particularly in Ireland? It has changed for the worse in recent years with musicians struggling to make a living. Are you in this for the long-haul?

We are definitely in this for long haul and it is true that the music industry has changed, as far as making a living is concerned. Ten years’ ago it was all about album sales but now, because of illegal downloads, it’s down to our live shows (to make money) but we like that – we’ve always made sure our live show is as good as it can be.  If our music career involves us travelling the world performing for people every night then that will keep us happy.

I see you are working on an EP. What are the immediate plans for the band? Are you working on more songs for a debut album?

We have the EP fully recorded and it’s now in the mixing and mastering side of things, which we are very excited to get started on. We are always working on new songs and trying to keep them up to standard and hopefully by the time the EP is released we can start looking at releasing a great album with strong original songs on it.

The Academic play their first headline Dublin show in Whelans Upstairs on the 23rd November. See www.liveloudmusic.com for more information. 

The Late Late Show: Ireland’s TV Oddity.

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     Last Friday night, Graham Norton welcomed on to his show the following guests: Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham and Will Smith, with his son, Jaden. Later in the show, Michael Douglas casually turned up for a chat and music was provided  by Selena Gomez. Granted, all were on the promotional trail with their own respective movies and music to flog but it threw, once again, into stark contrast the bleak alternative that RTE 1 gives us on a Friday night. At approximately the same time that Norton was shooting the breeze with Hollywood A-listers, Ryan Tubridy was showcasing a group of people who had new wigs fitted. This sounds like a joke – a pop at the Late Late’s recurrent failure to attract quality guests – but it was true: a wig infomercial in the middle of what is ostensibly a light entertainment programme. That, right there, summed up the television oddity that is the Late Late Show. Other guests on the night , Anne Doyle and the cast of Fair City , were an indictment of the show’s over-reliance on former and current RTE employees. Its only, for want of a better word, notable guests were two chaps from risible UK reality show Made In Chelsea. Surely for Tubridy, who is intelligent enough to know that his show is a lame duck content-wise, a permanent move to the BBC  perhaps can’t come quick enough.

     What has come up for most criticism has been the glaring lack of interesting guests but throw in its ludicrously protracted two-hour running-time, tiresome viewer competitions, pointless audience interaction and an insufferable house-band and you have a show that is a kind of national embarrassment.  This jarringly weird amalgam of serious discussion, z-list celebrity interviews and God knows what else, all steered by a host desperately trying to mould himself as Ireland’s answer to David Letterman, virtually guarantees it to be a trending topic on Twitter every Friday night. Defenders of the show describe it as ‘unique’ and espouse the theory that it continues to exist as Ireland is a small country, with a ‘community’ rather than a population and we watch it to enjoy a communal viewing experience. I don’t buy that. The Late Late Show should have gracefully bowed out with Gay Byrne when he retired in 1999. He brilliantly helmed the show in a different era, when shows like this had relevance in a time before social networking and shortened attention-spans. The Late Late Show now is an anachronistic relic of a bygone age, which has too long been a sacred (cash) cow on RTE’s schedules. It’s time it received a major overhaul or, better still, to be humanely put out of its misery.

An Unquiet Mind: Kristin Hersh Interviewed.

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(Originally published on Cluas.com on 18/08/2011)

Kristin Hersh is reminiscing about her early tours with the Throwing Muses, the influential art-rock band she formed as a teenager in the early eighties with her stepsister Tanya Donnelly. The Pixies were their opening act.

‘Yeah, they were always our support act when we went out on tour’ she tells me, down the line from her home in Laguna Beach, California. ‘We brought them with us because we didn’t want to be alone. We brought them to 4AD too because we didn’t want to alone on the label there either with all those English bands that were so pretty, gauzy and ethereal and we knew we were nothing like that!’ she remembers, laughing ‘The Pixies just kept us from being lonely’.

Throwing Muses, along with Sonic Youth and the aforementioned Pixies, were key figures in the alternative rock scene in the US in the eighties and nineties, and paved the way for Nirvana and the alt-rock explosion that followed. Yet, Hersh is not one for looking back or resting on her laurels, in fact Throwing Muses never officially split up and are hoping to release a new album soon. The mother of four has written and recorded almost twenty albums in her career to date, with Throwing Muses, as a solo-artist and with her loud, art-punk side-project 50 Foot Wave. To say Hersh is prolific sounds like an understatement.

‘Well, I’m just riddled with songs! I could make a record a week!’ she declares, bursting into that wonderful laugh once again that peppers the conversation. Hersh is a delightful interviewee; she’s articulate, light-hearted and down-to earth, at odds with the haunting intensity of her songs and their sometimes stark lyrical observations. She has spoken openly of her bipolar disorder and has described in the past her singular creative process whereby, rather that hearing a melody, or a snippet of a melody, that is then worked on laboriously until a full song is constructed, she can ‘hear’ songs already composed in her head, complete with somewhat incoherent lyrics. This would go some way to explain the huge body of work she has already accumulated in her career to date.

‘I don’t really know whether that was the bipolar disorder or the bad car accident I was in when I was teenager’ she says ‘I had a double-concussion, I was in a wheelchair for a long time and I started hearing songs then but I had written songs before that. I already had the craft down but there was no real magic to the material so now it’s a combination of hearing the songs but not bringing any of my personal baggage into it’ she explains ‘The songs are about my life – they’re my life stories and my pictures – but they don’t seem to be coming from me. They’re not really what I would choose to say, that can cause problems, it can be awfully embarrassing’ admits Hersh. ‘I sort of have to remain true to what they want to get said but at the same time keeping myself out of the process’.

So the songs are fully formed already, simply leaving you with the task of recording them? ‘Yes, but there is a certain amount of wrestling I must do to make sure I’m playing them right and hearing the lyrics right’ reveals Hersh ‘I can’t always understand the words. The lyrics are always the part I wrestle with but the music has always been very clear. I can play it; I never heard a song I couldn’t play. But words are tricky; you don’t want to ever lie. You just have to careful about them. In writing about it, in the book last year (‘Paradoxical Undressing’, a memoir she wrote which details the early years of Throwing Muses), I started to analyse it more than I ever wanted to. Perhaps to reduce it to a concussion seems minimising but I really believe that they are there, that they are real but I choose not to think of it as an illness’.

Hersh plays a solo show in Dublin this month and, at the time of writing, a Throwing Muses tour has just been announced, which will see Kristin return to Dublin with her old band in November. With so much music, and the tours to promote it, Hersh unsurprisingly spends a lot of time on the road. But she’s never been comfortable as a performer ‘I’m very shy so performance doesn’t really come naturally to me’ she admits ‘When I’m playing, it doesn’t really feel like I’m there at all and that’s okay but the whole idea of putting yourself in front of a bunch of people and making them look at you? I just don’t have that gene, that type of drive. Yet I know the type of high, that energy coming back to you (from the audience) and I’m sort of addicted to that. I also like the simplicity of the lifestyle. It teaches you what you need as opposed to what you want. It’s like a religion and I get to practice my religion for a few hours every day’.

Almost inevitably, Dublin is one her favourite places to play but Hersh offers a refreshingly cerebral explanation as to why that is. ‘You know, it’s just never disappointing. It has this…focused intelligence. Dublin is a city that is very musically aware, psychologically vibrant and very alive’ she says ‘It implies a musical fluency, music is a language and not everyone is fluent in it and in Ireland a lot of people are. It’s something you’re born with, I guess.’ I put it to her that this innate musicality may be born of our turbulent historical past, a post-colonial inferiority complex and the inclement weather ‘Absolutely but then it’s not like Russia because there is a sense of humour that infuses every conversation, every response. That’s hugely important as it means you have grasped drama and not melodrama’.

As if Hersh wasn’t busy enough releasing a new album almost on a yearly basis, she also co-founded the CASH project as an alternative method for up-and-coming musicians to distribute their music and finance themselves. According the site, the ‘goal is to help artists find sustainability and to encourage innovation in the music industry’. An earlier version of the project saw Hersh upload an EP of her side-project 50 Foot Wave and then allowed fans to download it for free, a few years before Radiohead were lauded (and castigated) for doing the same thing ‘I started CASH (Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) project as a non-profit with some friends a few years ago to provide software tools which would allow musicians to circumvent the traditional recording industry’ she says ‘Which means that musicians no longer have to have a middleman to judge the marketability of their product. It’s a problem I’ve been trying to solve in my life since I was 14 years old. CASH has allowed me to be listener-supported which means my sponsors are actually my audience. Finally, after all these years, I can be in this industry and nobody is asking me to dumb down what I do’.

An interesting facet of CASH is that fans can, not only support the artist in monetary terms, but can also gain an insight into the creative process by joining Hersh or one of the other artists involved in the studio ‘Yeah, the initial subscription was 30 dollars a month for access to any of my shows and you get the record for nothing. Eventually we realised people just wanted the music to happen and we introduced different platforms’ she says ‘That was a successful one but I wasn’t sure I would be comfortable. I’m sort of lost in that world when I’m working so I thought it would be uncomfortable but they add an energy to the room that I didn’t expect. It’s like a keyhole-view into our world’ she continues ‘Sometimes, they even seem to have ideas for songs!! I’m honoured that anyone would want to do that. To see them re-mixing the music on the site, downloading new songs every month, helping to name the new record, buying the last album ‘Crooked’ even though it was in book-form – I’m just honoured’.

Hersh is returning to her rock roots with a new Throwing Muses album but a release-date is yet to be confirmed. ‘I’m still trying to raise money to mix it. Recording is done and we’d just like to be able to mix it. I can’t wait for you to hear this record as I swear it’s the best one we ever made!’ she says, with genuine enthusiasm. ‘A lot of the songs are really short but it’s a really cool piece. I’m really excited about it; we’re just hoping to mix it, as it’s very special in my opinion. The Muses are just very special me’.

Ken Fallon

2010: In review.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 4 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 29 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 19mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was July 24th with 60 views. The most popular post that day was We Are Scientists Interview.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, irishtimes.com, twitter.com, alphainventions.com, and wearescientists.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for efterklang, daniel johnston, sun kil moon april, fever ray, and kraftwerk.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

We Are Scientists Interview July 2010
1 comment

2

Three Is The Magic Number: The Three Best Albums, Gigs & Films Of 2008. January 2009

3

Hi, How Are You: The Second Coming Of Daniel Johnston August 2008
1 comment

4

The First Great Album Of 2009 : ‘Fever Ray’ February 2009

5

Analog: An Urban Festival For Urban People. July 2008

We Are Scientists Interview

(Originally published on Cluas.com)

Keith Murray and Chris Cain of US indie-rockers We Are Scientists often don’t take interviews all that seriously. It may have something to do with their way-out sense of humour (check out their website http://www.wearescientists.com – it’s insane) or it could simply be a way of entertaining themselves as they respond to questions they have heard countless times before. So it is with some trepidation that I phone Chris (above right), the band’s bassist and prankster-in-chief, at his home in New York for an interview about the new album and their upcoming plans for the year. As it turns out, he is relatively serious for once and is friendly and unfailingly polite throughout as we chat about his band’s excellent, return – to – form new album Barbara, how his ending up in a successful rock band is somewhat accidental and why Cardiff’s nightlife terrifies him…

So, are you happy with the new album Barbara? Does it differ in any way to the previous two albums?

I think this is the one. It’s not a stylistic left-turn or anything but I think it represents the culmination of the sort of song-writing we have been doing for the last ten years which is definitely just poppy, ‘audience-worshipping’ rock-songs. We’re definitely not a navel-gazing band when it comes to our song writing!

I’m intrigued by the album title Barbara. Is it a specific person?

It’s not a specific person but we liked the idea of giving it an actual name as opposed to a title. And I guess if there’s any meaning, I think the name Barbara suggests an older generation a little bit, and it’s a very current name. I think a year from now everyone’s going to be naming their daughters Barbara!

With Love and Squalor was the album that brought mainstream recognition and it gives the impression the band was an overnight success. Yet it is not actually your debut album?

Yeah, we tend to count this (Barbara) as the third album as it’s the album that is getting any sort of distribution at all. We did a record back in 2002 called Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order) and we literally printed about a thousand copies and sold them at shows. I probably have about two hundred copies of that record still! We did not sell out a 1000 copy-run of that record! We tend to think of that album as a demo or such-like. We then did three EPs after that: BitchingInaction and The Wolf’s Hour.

As an American band, were you prepared for the success that came with the release of
With Love And Squalor over here in the UK and Ireland?

I don’t think our rise was meteoric in any way. We signed to a label – Virgin Records – and that allowed the music to get in front of a lot more people, especially in the UK and Ireland and then it took off a little bit but it wasn’t like we had a bunch of number one singles or even a top twenty! I think on that first record the highest placing for the single was like thirty-six or something. So it wasn’t meteoric or anything but it was great and I am hugely grateful for what has happened over the last five years. It felt more like a steady-build with each tour as each time we were going to larger venues but there’s also been some backtracking, as the second album didn’t sell as well as the first album, but we had time to enjoy it, that’s for sure.

It seems to me that you are enjoying a comfortable level of success, not overwhelmingly famous yet not languishing in obscurity either. It’s ticking over nicely.

Well, yes, we have never felt that our privacy has been violated or anything. Every once in a while in London or somewhere people will recognise us on the street and will want to get a picture of us. We’re just regular Joes but at same time we are at that level where we don’t need to work day-jobs, definitely.

Did you always want to be in a rock band?

No, actually! Unfortunately for the romanticism of the story I didn’t always want to be in a band. In fact, I had never picked up an instrument until I started playing bass in We Are Scientists in 2000 and basically Keith and I and another friend of ours, Scott Lamb, decided to start playing to kill time in the evenings. We had just graduated from University and we had our first real jobs so we needed something to do! It was really just a hobby and generally we had very low expectations of where it might go. We enjoyed playing live in front of a couple of people, it was fun to rehearse, and it was fun to write songs. But even for someone who wasn’t pining his whole life to play on stage I think it’s a dream come true to be able to work on something that is mine and that I care about and that’s all I have to do.

What type of music did you listen to growing up?

We listened to a lot of mainstream rock in the late Eighties, mainstream hard-rock like Poison, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard and then in the Nineties it was essentially grunge and Nirvana. I think it wasn’t until I got to college that I listened to stuff that wasn’t necessarily on the radio

Is there any band or artist that could claim to be the single most significant influence on We Are Scientists?

I think Weezer is a long-time shared influence for both Keith and I and is the one that is fairly apparent in our music. (For) this record I remember having conversations before we even started writing it that we really wanted it to be like The Green Album, the third Weezer record, that (album) is weirdly homogenous in that it has all these perfect, three-minute pop nuggets and they’re not repetitive in any specific way. They are all just so perfectly honed and melodic that it has this strange hypnotic effect when you listen to the record. I don’t think we ended up achieving that exactly but we did write a lot of short songs. We were so impressed by that record being under thirty minutes long, which was so cool for us for a rock record. I think ours is thirty-one minutes and a half!

Was there a specific reason why you wrote a short album with short songs this time around on
Barbara?

For us the attraction of short pop-songs is more of a math-problem or something as in how much you can cut out of a song, how short can you make everything to give the most concentrated version of the set of melodies you have come up with. I mean, even back on With Love And Squalor our tendency as a band is to always cut out as much out as possible.

Do you enjoy touring?

It has its downsides. Playing shows remains a magical experience but that’s about an hour or so of each day, the rest of the day can get pretty grinding when you are on tour. We are entertainers after all; they’re not paying to see you drive from Manchester to Brighton or whatever! One of the first things you have to deal with once a band takes off is that it is still a job, there is a lot of work involved, just that drudgery but once (you deal with it) you will realise that maybe it still is the best job in the world. But it’s not a vacation.

Do you prefer touring to being in the studio?

I don’t hate being in the studio but we’re not really a big ‘fiddling around with the sonic’ (aspect of recording) type of band, as we tend to write our songs before we get to the studio. The studio aspect is more about being patient and trying out different sounds to get to the point where you think the song is being properly served.

What are your memories of playing in Ireland up to now?

I think we played the Ambassador twice on our own and another time on the NME tour. We also played… is it, The Village?

Yes, The Village. [I tell him it’s not the best venue in the city, to put it mildly.]

Yeah, it’s got these weird, crazy sight-lines but the show at the Village was really awesome as people got up on stage, the bass-amp fell over at one point, almost crushed someone to death! It was a truly crazy and rowdy night at that venue! We’ve always loved playing Dublin; we also went to Galway and Cork too and of course up to Belfast also.

Do you notice any real difference when you play to an Irish audience, as opposed to a UK or US one?

I don’t really know about a specific difference but my gut tells me that Irish fans seem to sing along to the songs a lot more than UK audiences

Maybe that might have something to do with the fact they have drank larger quantities of alcohol!

Yeah, there is definitely a culture of partying there. Even just hanging out in Dublin is always pretty wild but in a nice way. Going to somewhere like Cardiff is pretty wild too but in a fucking terrifying way.

Really? Why’s that?

On a Friday night or a Saturday night in Cardiff, you’re downtown and no matter where you look you always see one or two fights happening! It’s just a very violently – charged atmosphere. It’s a not a wild-party atmosphere in a jubilant way, but in more of a letting off violent energy way. Scary!

I tell him that my favourite track of theirs is ‘Chick Lit’ because when I first heard it I was surprised it was by them as it has an ambitiously serious quality that is at odds with the band’s jokey persona.

That one’s got a complex after-life for me because I was never quite satisfied with how it ended up on the record. I liked it because I think it had a lot of really cool elements to it but it’s just so busy, it feels like you are in a tempest! I wish we had simplified it more. Playing live recently we have gone back to a three-piece (so) playing Chick Lit with just three guys you end up having to cut out a lot of stuff. But it’s been really cool to rediscover the skeleton of the song and what really makes it work

Speaking of band – personnel changes, is ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows now a full-time member of the band?

He’s the drummer on the new record but he’s going to be only intermittently available to play with us live this year as he’s got a solo-project called I Am Arrows that’s bringing out an album in July. We are thinking of doing a tour with him in the Fall where they would support us so Andy would play both sets, which would suck for him but would be great for us!!

How did you end up working with him anyway? Are you fans of Razorlight?

Keith and I were more fans of Andy Burrows than Razorlight – not that we dislike them – they were just not a big band for us. We probably met him at some festival and he is one of the most affable people you could meet. Almost everyone that meets him all think of themselves as a friend of his! In any case, we had a very amicable relationship with him and whenever Razorlight came through New York we would hang out with him.

What’s quite distinctive about We are Scientists is that you put almost as much effort into the comedic side of the band as you do with the music, yet the music itself is quite thoughtful, accomplished indie-rock. Is the comedy aspect something you’d like to pursue further?

It’s definitely something we will pursue further. That’s something Keith and I have a shared interest in, stuff like stand-up comedy and on TV and film also. We used to go see stand-up comedy when we first moved to New York two or three times a week. It’s definitely a long-standing interest and one that we have the opportunity to indulge in, now that our music is a little more popular.  It’s given us opportunities to basically abuse our own fame and basically make people sit through our comic efforts! As long as people continue to let us do it we are going to see what we can make of it.

I tell him that those NME Brat Awards clips, where he and Keith pretend to be reporters putting nonsensical questions to famous types, are hilarious…

The real bummer for me was seeing some of the responses on the YouTube videos afterwards – they would say ‘Aw, you guys fucking destroyed Kate Nash’ and ‘Who is that idiot!’ and that was not at all the intention of the thing. In fact when we were actually doing it, it was all very good-spirited and even the people who were a little confused had fun with it. After we finished the piece, they were laughing alongside us.

I’m happy you’ve gone easy on me but in many of the other print, online or TV interviews I’ve read or seen you and Keith prefer to joke around rather than give proper answers, albeit never in a mocking or cruel way. Why is that?

To be honest, we usually take the lead of the interviewer. If the interviewer is bored or doesn’t want to be there or is not serious himself about it then we are going to try to make it fun for ourselves. But if someone comes with a legitimate interest and wants to have a real conversation then we are not going to shut them out or anything! I think it sometimes confuses people but I think it’s the only healthy way we could do this; we could not do it any other way. I hope it doesn’t cause too much negative confusion, as I don’t want them being put off. Although our personalities have plenty of ‘frivolity’ the music tends to be a concentration of the more thoughtful aspects of who we are.

Ann Scott’s dark new masterpiece will chill your bones.

It’s been quite a while since Ann Scott’s impressive second album ‘We’re Smiling’ was released, an accomplished album that stood up to repeated listens while her debut ‘Poor Horse’ was equally as arresting. Despite this, the Dublin-born singer has always remained under the radar as an artist in this country, never quite achieving the kudos she deserves. With third album ‘Flo’ it is surely time for Scott to step out from the shadows, as it is her most complete work to date and heralds her as a major talent.

This significant creative progression is evident from the ominous opening bars of first track ‘Love is in him’. Built around a simple, minimal acoustic guitar figure and gentle cello it features Gemma Hayes on backing vocals, never before sounding so spooky and disembodied. The brilliant ‘Universe’ has spectral piano borrowed from PJ Harvey’s ‘White Chalk’ album while the comparatively rockier ‘Under The Sun’ is oddly reminiscent, in parts, of Mogwai in their quieter moments. The rich acoustic-strum of ‘Always’ is one of the few conventional tracks here while the gorgeous title-track ‘Flo’ sees the desolate piano of ‘Universe’ return, bringing the album to a fittingly ghostly finale.

What makes this album stand out from her previous work are the understated arrangements that keep Scott’s strikingly fragile voice to the fore, a voice thankfully bereft of unnecessary emoting and vocal quirks. Important to note too, that there is barely a dip in quality over the fourteen songs. If there’s a better Irish album released this year, I’ll be very surprised.

Invisible Elephant Prep New Record “The Lights Go Out”.

Invisible Elephant is the project of one man and his assortment of randomly acquired instruments, ranging from frog guiros to pre-school toy drum kits. These are melded together with found sounds, synthesizers and spectral vocals to create a dream-like wash of psychedelic noise which defies simple categorisation. Veering from ethereal softly-spoken psych folk to walls of monolithic feedback in a heartbeat, it’s difficult to pin the sound down to one genre.

The indefinable nature of Invisible Elephant’s music isn’t really surprising though given the huge influence it takes from the muddied existential narratives of Haruki Murakami as well as the hazy sounds of the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. This informs the sound which fuses the kind of downbeat sincerity of freak-folk with the visceral force of shoegaze and the cinematic euphoria of post-rock. The end result is transcendental music which simultaneously exhibits subtlety, ferocity, discordance, melody and an acute ear for imbuing the familiar with the futuristic.

Invisible Elephant – \”Communication Part II\”

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