I have to hand it to Elephant Choir – it can’t be easy reinventing a band’s sound and basically starting fresh, but they’ve really made a strong debut effort with their EP Season Sounds. They describe is as “cozy,” and I struggle to find a better word than that to describe it; it’s a comforting, enveloping sound that wraps itself around and squeezes you tight, shaking you with it, leaving just as swiftly as it came.
My feet were tapping just minutes into the elegant “Cabin Fever,” a song with simple statement layers that cover all levels from high to low. The veiled vocals are more atmospheric than anything else. The format of the song allows for some creative sampling liberties, which are craftily blanketed over the chill rhythm. The following “Reprise” serves as an enchanting interlude, a well-placed breather that gives you a slight break while boosting your anticipation for the next song.
I just love how the notes evolve in “Maple Twin,” with the song gaining an extra dimension in each bar. It reminds me of the tie dye color swirls that change color and melt into different images right before your eyes, the kind that you find yourself hazily staring at for minutes at a time. I jammed unexpectedly hard to this song.
“Winter” struck me as a sad, wistful song, with the guitar strums mirroring the feel of swirling snow and the vocals heavy with isolation. This one was a tease, which I should have been prepared for before I even started listening; just as I was settling into the cozy comfort it provided, it was over, and it gave me the same unsettling jolt as stepping onto a cold floor barefoot straight out of bed does.
While listening to this EP, I found my body responding to the sway of the music without my conscious interference. I like music like that – music that intimately touches the fibers of a person’s being, the kind that paints pictures in the mind and can provide a kinesthetic experience that stretches far beyond the notes reverberating in the ears. Every bit of the production supported this, from the muddled vocals to the swirling guitars. This was a great starting point for Elephant Choir and a solid charge in a good direction for the band.
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