"Xylophone's Gently Breathing"
(photo by konrad wolf)
We are officially 24 hours away from the first day of Spring, but mild weather and prolonged sunlight have already forced my listening habits to change from the cold sounds of hibernation (Grouper, Beach House, Pocahaunted, Mazzy Star) to the rejuvenating warmth of psychedelic pop, aka the lucid sounds of the Elephant 6 collective. While it'd be silly to try and pin down "the sound" of the prolific, yet still criminally underrated collective, for me the E6 ethos can be summed up by the onslaught of Spring; blooming buds, heightened sun, April showers and a woozy, mushy brain courtesy of allergy medication. (Ed note: I just noticed it's snowing. WTF!)
Of particular interest has been The Olivia Tremor Control's monumental opus Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol.1, a massive collection of wobbling found sound experiments, fuzzed out bliss pop and hallucinatory marvel, which is as much a soundtrack of the Elephant 6 collective's hey-day as it is a swan song from one of its most influential acts. Psychedelic in both its sound and aesthetic, Black Foliage... was heavily influenced by the nonsensical oddities of dreams, so much so that the band asked fans to send in tapes describing their dreams, many of which are included on Black Foliage's final track, "Hilltop Procession (Monumental Gaining)". While the subconscious mind plays a key role on the record, so does sunshine, which acts as a motivating factor on pop gems "A New Day" and "I Have Been Floated", two of OTC's most accomplished tracks.
The Olivia Tremor Control- A New Day
The Olivia Tremor Control- I Have Been Floated
Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour "I Have Been Floated"