Indiana Daily Student

WIUS pick of the week

The music force that is the Elephant Six Collective (E6) has been awfully quiet lately. Throughout the country, lovers of the quirky, retro-pop that is the specialty of the E6 collective have been going into withdrawal. They have been begging for the powerful punch of Beatles, Beach Boy and Zombies-influenced pop to get them through the long, cold weather. They need the quirky lyrics surrounded by the warm glow of the '60s and '70s. Elf Power's The Winter is Coming is just that fix.

Elf Power
The Winter is Coming
Sugar Free

With The Winter is Coming, Elf Power has shrugged away the lo-fi trappings it has worn for its past albums. This album is filled with a wonderful high-fi sound that perfectly suits the album's psychedelic-pop songs. The songs are big, sprawling messes of arena-sized rock that are enhanced by the new high production values. Elf Power's new and improved sound can be heard from the first track on. The rocking "Embrace the Crimson Tide" opens with a military-style drumbeat before eventually adding slashing violins and chugging guitars to form one rollicking song. If there was ever a song that begged to be played to a thousand screaming fans, "Embrace the Crimson Tide" is that song. While not all the songs might have the rock power of the opening track, each of the songs are filled with a broad sound. The fanciful title track begins as a sweet pop song before a forceful brass band takes it over. On the gentle ballad "The Sun is Forever," Elf Power makes a song that it is so relaxed that it sounds like it could be played on your local classic rock station. With "The Naughty Villain," Elf Power has written a song that out-psychedelics most songs from the '60s. Coming out from behind the shadows of such E6 luminaries as Olivia Tremor Control and Apples in Stereo, Elf Power has created not only its best album but also one of the great albums that every retro-pop lover will treasure. Hopefully, this album will be able to tide over the hordes of retro-pop fans waiting for the next pop gem.

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