When The Elephant Trees dropped into my inbox, I was catapulted into an indie-pop world that I instantly adored. "Idiot" quickly became an anthem and it's still one of the tracks I shout at the top of my lungs.. "DON'T BE SUCH AN IDIOT" – iconic, right?
Now, the Manchester-based two-piece share their five-track debut EP. Defying genre and presenting a variety of undefinable songs, Monachopsis is an EP which displays a frank and honest account of human relations. First track "IDKWIWA" (I Don't Know What I Want Anymore), is overflowing with electric energy and entertains Foals-inspired melodies.
Fan favourite "Idiot" is an addictive track fuelled with gritty riffs and fierce vocals. Providing groovy melodies, the single is the most raucous on the EP and as a result, remains as my favourite.The more subdued track "Bricks & Mortar" intertwines dynamic electronics with soulful, hearty guitar lines before Martha Phillips' enchanting vocals slip you into a dream-like state. It's an iridescent slow-burner. Yet it's the interlude of "4100" which best showcases the band's versatility. Soundscaping electronica with robotic vocals and blending it with heavier dance beats, before sliding into the Billie Eilish-melody sounding "4100", highlights the uniqueness of The Elephant Trees and their talents in manipulating music to best represent them.
"We've all felt a deep sense of monachopsis in our lives at some point" explains the band. "That's less of an assumption and more of a fact. It's human nature, and yet, we don't talk about it. We'd like that to change, we'd like to smash that wall down and many others, bending genres and emotions and social norms and styles. None of this felt like a choice, more of a need to create something that dips and flows and halts and crashes just like people do, just like thoughts and feelings, and encourage others to let themselves do the same."
Whilst EP closer "2 Seconds" is a calming end to the thrashing EP, it's entirety is a fascinating listen. The Elephant Trees are genre-bending and we love it, Monachopsis is an EP for everyone. Made with love, with a purpose, it's a sleek debut from the northern band.
UK Headline Tour:
15th Nov – The Leadmill, Sheffield
16th Nov – Deaf Institute, Manchester
21st Nov – The Monarch, London
28th Nov – Stereo, Glasgow (supporting 100 Fables)
29th Nov – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds