Elephant Stone

The Three Poisons

Written by: BV on 07/09/2014 16:29:06

I can clearly remember the first time I stumbled upon Elephant Stone sometime during the summer of 2013. - Their self-titled sophomore effort had me ecstatic and as I would often lie down and chill out on the floor to that particular record, I’ve been yearning for a follow-up from them ever since, constantly hoping that they would develop on the utterly massive potential of their songwriting craft. With their new album, “The Three Poisons”, it seems that their jangly psych-pop tunes have taken a turn for the darker, leaving less space for the whimsical songs of old, in favor of more ominous lyrical and musical journeys.

“Motherless Child (Love’s Not for War)”, opens the album in a somewhat familiar fashion for Elephant Stone. Front-man Rishi Dhir’s vocals are fragile and soft as always, working a fragile between instrumentally overpowering passages and quieter moments where his voice just dominates like a softly spoken mantra. The darker themes of the lyrics are, strangely enough, not overly represented in the music of the opening track as it essentially picks up where their self-titled sophomore effort left off. The grandiose soundscape underlined by jangly guitars and a soft organ is vastly reminiscent of “The Sea of Your Mind” from their previous effort and leans heavily on the jam-atmosphere usually associated with the neo-psychedelic scene.

With “All is Burning” a groovy bass-line seems to be the dominant force while Dhir’s lyrics once again touch upon darker aspects of the world. Despite often being underappreciated (at least by myself), the drumming of Miles Dupire is what really ties the songwriting of Elephant Stone together. Sure, Dhir’s vocals are characteristic and the jangly guitars are essential in the soundscape, but “All is Burning” quite frankly proves that without a talented drummer behind the kit, the songs would rather quickly fall into a psychedelic rabbit-hole wherein its progress would quickly come to a halt. Utilizing a somewhat similar approach, “Child of Nature (Om Namah Shivaya)” is, quite possibly, my personal highlight of the album as it melds the psychedelic mantras of Dhir with a profoundly dynamic instrumental groove that leaves plenty of space for sonic exploration in the vocal-less passages before eventually fading out to non-existence, making way for the semi-melancholic psych-pop song “Living For Something”.

The darker themes of the songs and the slightly more repetitive nature can, in some ways, be seen as a natural development for Elephant Stone. To be perfectly honest, it’s a direction I had not entirely seen coming, nor is it one similar to what I was hoping for. With that said there is still plenty of the jangle-psych I associate with Elephant Stone left in the music – now they just seem to employ a wider sonic pallet. It’ll be interesting to see how they will progress from here on out.

Download: Child of Nature (Om Namah Shivaya), Motherless Child (Love’s Not for War), Living For Something
For The Fans Of: The Black Angels, Golden Animals, Temples
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.08.2014
Hidden Pony Records

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