Sunlight on the Moon
Elf Power emerged from the eclectic Elephant 6 collective, where music-making was a bit like a group painting session in which everyone added their colors and ideas on top of one another. Lo-fi, hi-fi, little songs, big songs—everything flowed together with an optimism and weirdness that kept listeners on their toes. Elf Power—the work of key songwriter Andrew Rieger and creative foil Laura Carter and various coming-and-going scene members—is a bit more focused in terms of limiting the free-for-all aspects this time out. At the heart of these songs is Rieger’s somewhat somber vocal style, which is lifted just enough by the gorgeous melodic lines of the title track, “Grotesquely Born Anew," and “Things Lost.” Those songs form a three-play at the heart of the album that’s as low-key and brilliant as anything the band has tried. Songs vary from bedroom demos to full-out studio projects, but the emotional core holds the experiments together. Twelve albums onward, and Elf Power is still finding new territory to explore.