In advance of the official end of the Fingertips summer hiatus, I will ease back into the online present with a headlong dive into the past, via a new Flashback. This one seems somehow to align itself sonically with the languorous weather in which so many of us are engulfed—there’s an air of torpor and melancholy here, but also something of a sweet escape. Lie back and be engulfed.
[from November 13, 2006]
Don’t miss the opening combination of insistent drumming and sugary strings, an uncommon juxtaposition that lends a curious vibe to this idiosyncratic and gorgeous piece of music. The Chicago-based duo Elanors, featuring singer/pianist Noah Harris and wife Adriel Harris on guitar and backing vocal, paint big orchestral pictures of a familiar-seeming yet singular variety. (For the CD, Elanors have borrowed two players from the band Judah Johnson, for whom Noah plays keyboards.) Brian Wilson comes to mind, partly because of the orchestral aspirations, but mostly because of just how in-its-own-world this song seems. Having spent a certain amount of time reacquainting myself with Pet Sounds in recent weeks, I was struck anew by how thoroughly peculiar a sonic reality it presents, a peculiarity rooted somewhere in the marriage of the songs he wrote, the voice he sung them in, and the instruments he employed and how he employed them. With Elanors, a similar sort of splendid peculiarity is in the air. Note for instance the drumming again, which with or without the strings is just plain unusual, keeping up as it does a unflagging but continuously inventive triplet rhythm, three beats for each beat of the 4/4 measure, until the very end (oh and don’t miss too that point, at 3:57, when the drum actually stops, just seconds before the end of the song; it’s almost a revelation). “She Had a Dream” is a song from the band’s second CD, Movements, released last month on Parasol Records. The MP3 is via Parasol.
ADDENDUM: The band seems to have been a one-off effort; Movements was the one and only album, and there is nary a word written about them online since the days of post-album promotion.