I freaking love my job. Every single day I get the opportunity to discover incredible new songs by outstanding up-and-coming artists. I’m incredibly lucky and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, there are certain aspects of my role that I relish more than others. For example, sometimes it’s difficult to articulate exactly how or what a song/artist is making me feel at that exact moment. This is because describing how music ‘sounds’, is kind of like a chef explaining how food ‘tastes’. It can be a dark path. Music, like art, can be fickle. Oddly enough, the ‘better’ a song is, often the harder it is to intelligently describe. I end up reducing myself to nothing more than a common glutton, profusely proclaiming for all to hear: “This is so good.”
In case you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down, consider this an advanced warning: this is not a high-brow review. I’m not going to sit here and critique tone and timbre. Not today. And not because relative psychedelic-rock newcomers Elephant Castle don’t deserve it, but because it isn’t necessary. If brevity is the soul of wit, then Elephant Castle’s premier single ‘Cool To Be Unhappy’ is sharper than a rapier. This concise, surgical alt-rock offering plays like the soundtrack to a long-forgotten daydream, interlaced with syn-aesthetic waves of euphoria. It’s the audio equivalent of an acid flashback displaced by a proverbial labyrinth of mushroom trails and funny colors. In short: “it’s so good.”
Elephant Castle is the brainchild of Phil Danyew; a touring/studio musician most notably of Foster The People. After years spent honing his art, Danyew is setting out to follow his dreams and discover his own sound. Elephant Castle represents years of hard work and sacrifice finally coming to a head. Unafraid to incorporate inspiration from his own personal life and experiences, ‘Cool To Be Unhappy’ is the true story of a failed relationship. It’s literally about a girl who thought it was cool to be unhappy. Suffice it to say – the relationship didn’t last long. Yet somehow, this isn’t a song of sorrow; there’s no pining for long lost love. In spite of everything ‘Cool To Be Unhappy’ remains painfully optimistic, inspired, and even hopeful.
Have you ever been watching a movie where the scene, all of a sudden, starts moving in slow motion? And then reality crashes down and it’s almost as if everything has sped up in order to make up for the lost time? That’s how it feels listening to Elephant Castle. Just like their namesake implies: they’re something special. Unassuming and without the slightest whiff of pretension. This is the kind of music that turns off your brain and activates your mind.
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Listen to Cool To Be Unhappy on our New Music playlist.