ELEPHANT dream big. Much like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and your kid sister's fascination with Hannah Montana, when we're young we all want to believe in something bigger than ourselves. This isn't a bad thing. Most of us grow old, realize Santa Claus is just another name for your Dad on December 25th, the Easter bunny is a figment of your imagination, and the Tooth Fairy's castle of teeth probably smells kind of gross.
But for Matthew MacInnis, the lead singer of Toronto's ELEPHANT, those imaginative dreams never really faded out. It's what makes the band's experimental indie rock so limitless. In fact, on ELEPHANT's debut album The Violet Hour, you can hear the animated front man still struggling to reconcile his despair over social apathy with his own romantic optimism. Working passionately with Brett Watterton (lead guitar), Daniel Tal (bass, keys, laptop) and Ian Kennedy (drums, back-up vocals), he manages to maintain a youthful exuberance that bursts through each song. Just hear the lush electronica-tinged soundscapes on "We Need to Rethink This", or the epic chaos on the catchy-as-heck "Space & Time", and you'll see these guys write music with the same kind of wide-eyed enthusiasm as a kid standing at the front gates of Canada's Wonderland on the first day it opens up for the season.
And sure, the ideas on The Violet Hour are a hell of a lot bigger than your kid sister could ever imagine. MacInnis, an audiologist (ear doctor) by day, revels in the irony of playing in a live band and blasting rock music into peoples' ears by night. Some may say it's a brilliant marketing ploy, but anyone who has had a conversation with the fun loving front man knows it's a simple coincidence. Then there's Tal, who spends most of his time juggling band priorities while completing a bachelor's degree at York University. Watterton may be charmingly shy, but on stage holds nothing back as he leads the band through monster melodies, and whose mean accordion skills came in handy while recording The Violet Hour (hear the eloquent closing track "Hope to the End"). Kennedy's eager obsession shines through on stage, and he can probably track his super tight drumming skills to a fascination with early 90's hardcore.
Together, they are ELEPHANT. And after signing to Nevado Records in January just in time to release the Violet Hour to stores across North America on June 3rd, it's quite possible they are ready to take over the current landscape of indie rock music, and hopefully receive the praise they so well deserve.
For Fans of: Mute Math, Radiohead, Elbow, Sigur Ros, and Explosions in the Sky.