Review: Elf Power – Sunlight on the Moon
Published on October 4th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Elf Power’s eleventh album Sunlight on the Moon is a simpler, more laid-back sibling to their eponymous 2010 LP, largely shorn of the orchestration and synths and therefore much of the colour.
As such, Sunlight on the Moon relies on the strength of its songwriting, because its vintage Elephant 6 production is a given. It doesn’t fare too badly, but it ultimately feels like a shame that Elf Power don’t expand on the quirkier elements of opening track “Transparent Lines”.
The robotic bass effect on the vocal, the squishy drum machine, the lightly insistent plucks of acoustic: wrap it all up with lyrics like “The empty house was a shroud over me / Transparent lines tracing all that I could see” and the band’s usual melodic sensibility, and it’s a winning start.
“A Grey Cloth Covering My Face” has a fuzzy, ramshackle psych-pop charm like fellow E6-ers Gerbils and Olivia Tremor Control – the latter’s early Singles & Beyond material, at least – and there’s a touch of Beulah about the title track.
Despite a great title and a weird squawky sound introduced overhead, “Grotesquely Born Anew” is roundabout the point that Rocksucker feels Sunlight on the Moon to be unfurling as much of a muchness. A pleasant muchness, but a muchness nonetheless.
“A Slow Change” is a nice bittersweet strum of a closer, but by then it’s all passed a little too smoothly. Sunlight on the Moon does a decent line in lightly psychedelic pop, but unfortunately not much more than that.
Sunlight on the Moon is out now on Orange Twin.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!