New Discovery: ELEL

Mid-way through January and I’m already craving spring and summer and we haven’t even gotten that much snow yet. Thankfully there’s “40 Watt”, a great summer track from up-and-coming Nashville 8-piece, ELEL. I know what you’re thinking, holy band members, but even with a packed roster, ELEL’s sound is never overwrought or over produced.

I’m a little late to the game with this one judging by what I’ve read about ELEL. Their single “40 Watt”, made a big splash over the summer and the group had a much deserved spot at Bonnaroo. ELEL consists of two horns, three keys, guitar, bass, and vocals to spare. You’ll be hard pressed to assign one genre or influence to the sprawling octet but others have compared them to Vampire Weekend, Toro Y Moi, MGMT, and Beach House. Perhaps the variety comes from the array of locations the band members call home including Arkansas, Kentucky and New York. Whatever it is, the sounds come together magnificently and create a familiar yet unique aural experience.

The only track currently available is “40 Watt” (although I’ve read rumors that their first album, Geode, is soon to be released), a raucous dance number that shines brightly during this bleak winter. Shimmering samples are illuminated by bouncy, driving beats and layered vocals creating a highly infectious and imaginative first single. I can almost feel the warm sun on my face as I listen to it. While there are a lot of layers to the track, I never feel overwhelmed by the music coming through my headphones. ELEL knows when to keep it simple and when to really let their numerous instruments come through which makes you feel like they’ve been doing this for years.

With such a successful first single and summer, it looks like 2015 is going to be ELEL’s year. If “40 Watt” is any indicator, Geode is going to be a highly vivid and fun album. I can only hope that the rumors are true and that it is released soon. Thankfully, I’m loving “40 Watt” and don’t mind that it is currently the only track to tide me over until Geode comes into the world.