Elevant say the two mainstays of their appeal are “sadness and riffs”. They’re also a visceral live band with the nous to know what else matters to get your music noticed these days. Ahead of a new EP, tour and appearances at three top local festivals, they’ve released a new single and its shock and awe is demanding your attention. As is the video. By Alan O’Hare.
Polymath: noun, a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.
If you hear about a musical success story in 2018, chances are that it’s due as much to the work of a polymath as it is do with percussion. Michael Edward, singer and guitarist with righteous rockers Elevant, surely fits this description. The band, their label Loner Noise and Liverpool’s annual WRONG Festival all exist because of Edward and his friends. Tom Shand and Hannah Lodge, his friends who play the drums and bass respectively (if not respectfully) in Elevant, are vital to his success.
Elevant are a trio whose best moments exist in the spaces of their aural assaults. Sure, they rock, but there’s something else happening here. Three albums and a couple of EPs down the line and music fans outside of the city are starting to take notice, too. New single ‘Nowhere’ (watch below), the first shot across the bow from their forthcoming ‘Here Come The Cold Sweats’ EP, is a cracker and has a video to match: “We made a concerted effort to tighten up our songwriting into something more focused and digestible,” Edward reveals about the new material. “We wanted to evolve – all the fat trimmed and hooks razor sharp, but keeping the sonic experimentation and power.”
‘Nowhere’ has dynamic and sonic experimentation, but only time will tell if it has the power to propel the band to greater things. The video might, though… marking director James Lyall’s first foray into music videos, it was filmed in Liverpool John Moore’s University studio and does a great job of connecting the band with the viewer. Yes, it’s a piss take (and a very good one), but it also gets across how much fun this band really are on-stage.
Their edgy art rock feeds the foils Edward and Lodge have become and with a bit of what Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich call “locked grooves”, Elevant are making prescient rock ‘n’ roll. “Although the tone of the video is more sarcastic than that of the song, we thought that having everything fall apart despite our best efforts was a good mirror for the lyrical themes,” says Edward. “It’s probably the closest we get to writing a love song.” ‘Nowhere’ is a love song, if a twisted one, and continues the dark and dystopian themes first glimpsed in the punky reggae party of 2017’s ‘Acral Affection’ and also in 2015’s riff-monster ‘Again’, but the new single represents a step-up.
Let’s hope it’s the right one.
‘Nowhere’, by Elevant, is out now via Loner Noise
Saturday April 28th 2018, WRONG Festival, Invisible Wind Factory
Saturday May 5th 2018, Smithdown Road Festival, Evil Eye
Sunday May 6th 2018, Sound City, Birdies Bar
Pic by Vicky Pearson