Nashville 8-piece ELEL had a big summer. Their debut track " 40 Watt", an effervescent blast of feel good indie pop, drew comparisons to the likes of Vampire Weekend and MGMT, winning over a slew of blogs and affording them the opportunity to perform at Bonnaroo Festival. The band are set to release their debut album Geode in 2015 on Mom + Pop Music.
ELEL, consisting of two horns, two drums, three keys, guitar, bass and whole lot of vocals, was born from frontman Ben Elkins meeting a girl named Elisa. Ben's now wife softened his edges while introducing him to the likes of Beach House and Toro Y Moi. Speaking on ELEL, Ben says “ It’s the outcome of me producing music that risks leaving space and communicates emotion easily and softly.” This band represents a new start for its members, for a variety of reasons. Tied together by the bustling Nashville music scene but from an array of locations, ELEL includes Ben (Arkansas), Zach (Kentucky), Tim (Mississippi), Jo Jo (Brooklyn, NY), Alex (Pennsylvania), and life-long Nashvillians (so far) Frederick, Jerry and Stefan.
ELEL are currently on a supporting tour with Generationals and will be playing Southgate House Revival Room on Sunday, January 18th! We sat down with the band prior to the show.
Give us some background on ELEL…
I'm Ben Elkins and I started the band. It was pretty amazing how it came together. If I ever had any doubts about whether or not I should start this band (it's a huge life chang and undertaking), the way these amazing people just fell into my lap propelled me forward. Meeting each member each has its own neat story. But one example is the bass player Jo Jo. So we work together at a grocery store. And her first day she was sitting down in the breakroom reading her worker manual thing. After some small talk intros, I just straight up asked her if she's a bass player (she looked cool, and I was hoping so because I had a gig in a week and no bass player!). I asked a clarifying question, "are you a bass player bass player? Or like a guitar player who plays bass?" She said, no I'm a bass player, that's all I play." Thrilled inside and calm outside, I asked her if she could learn some songs and play a show with us in a week.
She said yep and the rest is history.
So it's all been like that. Stefan (Sax) just came along to practice one day with Fredrick (trumpet). I didn't want his effort or time to be waisted, so I said, Wanna play on these songs? Here's the part...
At that point we became a 7 piece!
What can one expect from a live ELEL show?
Rolling rhythms, lots of vocals, generally uplifting music. We like to move on stage a lot, so hopefully you'll move too, people usually do which is great fun. It's very sway-y music. There's a lot going on, but there's a good amount of space in the music too. We have a blast playing music together. Come to the show we'll take care of you. (Musically speaking)
What is next for ELEL?
We're on the road right now for a week. Some shows with Moon Taxi early in Feb. around the south. We just got on Alt Nation on Sirius XM radio! Looking to spread this first single around more and more (40 Watt). Next up is releasing our second single "Kiss Kiss" along with an EP. We'll be going on an east coast- west coast tour in March including SXSW. Working on the video now for that single. It's gonna be awesome!
Full length coming out this summer! Can't wait.