Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Ringing For The Begin Again" - Elfin Saddle

A record I bought at the Northside festival, RINGING FOR THE BEGIN AGAIN has been sneaking up on me slowly, from a long way away. I had noticed it briefly, catching glimpses during truncated listening sessions and on random playlists. Now directly behind me, over me, I feel its presence; I feel folky and Siberian. I have been listening to the record all day, enjoying its mix of Japanese and English lyrics, allowing it to interrupt and do a dance around everything else I have been up to, transported to the lush, verdured world that Elfin Saddle creates. The trio were my dark horse band at the Northside Festival, playing some crazy slot - first opening band for Sunset Rubdown or something similar. I was impressed enough to tote a 12 inch record around for the rest of the night, but it's a difficult record to review. Both members of the band are artists in many respects, and I can sense an exploration in the music, something similar to the visual art they both create. I can hear influences without HEARING the influences. The folk instrumentation, sound arrangements, and beautiful calling vocals are all great, but whatever the extra thing is - the honest artful gumption - that's what gets my toes tapping. I think this is a beautiful, positive record, the accomplishments of which are impressive and enjoyable.

Check out the art of Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie (the band). And also watch this video of their performance from Northside 2009. This is my favorite track from the record.

"Sakura" by Elfin Saddle download mp3 (with permission)

Buy Elfin Saddle records!!

The cover art is done by the band. Of course!!

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