Elf Power
Sunlight on the Moon
Darla Records / Orange Twin Records
Street: 10.01
Elf Power = Neutral Milk Hotel x Clouds Taste Metallic–era Flaming Lips + The Eels
Elf Power are excellent at crafting psychedelic sounds that mesh every possible influence from the ’60s, all while dancing on the edge of pop and still retaining a warm, lo-fi buzz that adds patina to the production sheen. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Rieger’s slightly wavering voice at times brings to mind Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (“Grotesquely Born Anew”), and at times even has an Art Garfunkel feel (“Darkest Wave”) that perfectly matches the distorted licks that complement it. Highlights include “Transparent Lines,” which has a memorable melody and trippy toe-tapping bass grooves; “A Grey Cloth Covering my Face,” which carries with it extra fuzzy, ’60s-inspired guitar licks and an upbeat tempo, and “A Slow Change,” which is the least fuzzy but most thoughtful. The album is very solid, but doesn’t diverge much from Elf Power’s 2010 self-titled release. They might be masters, but they certainly stay in their own wheelhouse. –CJ Morgan