Elephant Stone

Elephant Stone

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For modern rock fans the very name Elephant Stone connotes something specific: a beloved 1988 single from the Stone Roses. The new millennial, Canadian psych rock band Elephant Stone does indeed take elements from the Stone Roses, specifically how the Manchester group layered acoustic guitars and ringing Rickenbackers to create a psychedelic, '60s pastiche that never sounded tethered to the past, but on their eponymous 2013 sophomore set, there are several elements that give this modern-day trippy pop band their own identity. Foremost among them is a fondness for Indian music -- not a huge surprise considering how leader Rishi Dhir was an in-demand sitarist among the neo-psychedelic set prior to his formation of Elephant Stone (he played with Brian Jonestown Massacre and Soundtrack of Our Lives, among others) -- but it's hardly exotic window-dressing for standard-issue psychedelia. Classical Indian music is thoroughly interwoven with '60s psychedelia and pop -- and the two are different, with the first emphasizing texture and the second structure -- giving Elephant Stone a shimmering, off-kilter quality that's alluring. That sound is alluring enough to warrant return visits to the album, repeated listens that reveal the album to be built on solidly sculpted songs where the riffs and melodies intertwine into something quietly enchanting; like their inspirations, Elephant Stone evokes the best of the past, but is intent on recasting these sounds for the future.

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