Elephant – ‘Sky Swimming’

Written during inebriated all-night stints, the duo's debut fails to stray much beyond vanilla territory

There’s a disparity between how London duo Elephant got off the ground, and what they offer up on this debut album. Having met at a party, vocalist Amelia Rivas and studio tinkerer Christian Pinchbeck wrote and recorded during all-nighters, off their chops. Roughly four years and a tortuous recording process later, they deliver alluring analogue pop textures and nagging refrains, but sound like they’ve never ingested anything stronger than skimmed milk. There are nice moments – the whirring keys and booming ’60s soul drums that pepper ‘TV Dinner’, for instance – but there are bad ones too – ‘Shipwrecked’ drifts towards the vanilla dreampop of Beach House. Rivas’ voice isn’t enormously distinctive, either, meaning ‘Sky Swimming’ rarely eclipses the dreaded adjective ”pleasant”.

Noel Gardner

Details

Record label: Memphis Industries
Release date: 28 Apr, 2014