Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” contrasts the differences between talking and communicating. Inspired by “Hills Like White Elephants,” White Elephants by Jeff & The Goldbloomers takes this theme to a whole new level and demonstrates how communication can be accomplished through music.
The first song on the album “Hills Like…” displays a great amount of patience in its lengthy intro, catering to listeners who are willing to wait. Slow, shifting synthesizers lead the musical progression, followed by velvety bass and percussion. Over a minute into the tune, the vocals echoing Hemingway’s words make their entrance, and the song grooves calmly, hitting a climax towards the three-minute mark and fading out in blissful harmonies.
The next two songs on the EP are decidedly the most catchy tracks the EP has to offer. “Head on the Floor” features a classic drumbeat, energetic, staccato handclaps, retro guitar riffs and harmonies from vocals and synthesizers. At one point, the tune appears to be over, but it regains life and proceeds full tilt for a minute longer. “May Day” is stylistically similar to “Head on the Floor” but it contains just enough changes to keep it from sounding like a repeat.
The band is certainly creative in their approach to songwriting and “Dream Within a Dream” is a testament to their artistry. As the title might suggest, the song revolves around dreaming and with its repeated intro, rehashed lyrics and spacey reverb, it paints a beautiful meta picture of sleeping, dreaming and thinking.
“In Retrospect” is the only tune on the EP that makes use of acoustic instrumentation. Almost as if reflecting on the record as a whole, this song feels contemplative and hopeful, as any final track should. Jeff & The Goldbloomers do not lose their musical touch when transitioning to a more acoustic feel, which is not an easy feat. The track eventually integrates the band’s usual electric guitars, bringing the record to a fully satisfying end.
As their music exemplifies, Jeff & The Goldbloomers unquestionably possesses significant talent and potential, and for fans of high quality, lo-fi alternative pop/rock, their debut record serves as an extremely accessible EP that displays attractive innovations in both lyrics and instrumentation.
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