Local Wire

Elefant

Perhaps it's the omnipresent gray skies, but whatever the cause, the Brits are masters of a strain of gloomy romanticism traceable from Bowie to Blancmange to Morrissey. NYC quartet Elefant channels this dark, synth-driven pop sound (which hit its high-water mark during New Wave's '80s reign) with supple melodies and a heavy-lidded vocal delivery that recalls the laconic, lovelorn expressions of Robert Smith. Though this nostalgic pop spirit fills the band's debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, Elefant is not completely shackled to the past. In particular, the chunky guitar tones sound, at times, in keeping with fellow Gotham nostalgists such as The Strokes (as on the catchy "Misfit"). Singer-guitarist Diego Garcia broods a bit like Bowie, though he's not as grand, so it helps that the music twists and sways with great elegance. But while ornate, these are at heart pop songs, so Elefant doesn't get too plush in its arrangements, pushing steadily toward the big choruses and their rich, pungent bloom.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Parker
Contact: Chris Parker