Over the past few weeks, the submissions that have come into the site’s inbox have introduced me to some of the most fascinating music of 2014. Toby Reif and Space Mountain were two that immediately stood out- Elephants shortly followed. The Boston-based quartet’s upcoming record, Strange Waves, is one of 2014’s most vibrant and defiantly lively records. The band’s formula differs from the norm, most notably in the basslines acting as lead guitar riffs instead of driving the rhythm. It’s a kinetic approach and it suits the band (whose powerpop sensibilities come tinged with a surprisingly aggressive noise-punk bite) surprisingly well.
All of Strange Waves is a joy but no song on the record clicks everything into place with as much power and finesse as “The Turtles Were Right”. Sun-splashed melodies meet a restless bass figure, propulsive drumming, vicious guitar work, an abundance of energy, and a few joyful hand claps. Before long, the song establishes an alternating contrast pattern in mood with the verses taking on a pensive melodramatic feel before the rousing chorus picks everything up and pushes it forward. It’s also Elephants at their finest- it’s no surprise that “The Turtles Were Right” is the song that includes the lyric which gave Strange Waves its title. “The Turtles Were Right” cloaks its fuzz in an undeniable affability and the end result is something that deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
Listen to “The Turtles Were Right” below and keep an eye on Elephants’ bandcamp, which is where Strange Waves will be available to download on December 16 (the download will be free for the first day).