This one’s a very pleasant unexpected surprise. I’m a massive fan of both Matt Berninger’s The National and Brent Knopf involved bands like Menomena & Ramona Falls. When the two brilliant musicians joined up as EL VY, I was one of the world’s happiest music fans. EL VY went on to put out a sensational debut album, which I loved dearly. One of the tracks off of Return To The Moon that really spoke to me was Need A Friend, which hit a bit close to home with all the show and concert references in its lyrics. Today, Need A Friend has been remixed by yet another amazing band, namely Baltimore’s respected Wye Oak. They give it a brass warbling, groggy glazed makeover much intoxicating and sophisticated. It’s a clever interpretation that brings together some of the most respected players in the indie game.
“Return to the Moon” by EL VY // Return to the Moon (Out 10.30.15 via 4AD)
It’s Matt Berninger releasing music on 4AD, so by default - I’m going to be there. The fact that Brent Knopf (Menomena, Ramona Falls) is also involved is just icing on the cake. So, with that, EL VY (rhymes with “hell pie”) has my attention. It doesn’t hurt that the infectious lead single (and title track) of Return to the Moon, casts Berninger as a storyteller performing against more of an upbeat backdrop than we’re used to hearing him. My immediate wonder is if this is a Postal Service for a new decade - Berninger using his incredible voice (literal and literary) to create infectious pop variations of his heartbreakers, while Knopf crafts wondrous and lovely electronically leaning pop gems to guide the way. Of course, that comparison does no one any good. My mind was just wondering (wandering. What’s important is that the first taste is a great one. So hit play again.