Psychedelic rockers Elf Power have been around the block a few times since they formed in the mid-90s, performing with everyone from Wilco to R.E.M. But it will be be longtime collaborator and friend Vic Chesnutt who serves as the inspiration for the band’s latest outfit.
Prior to his death in 2009, Chesnutt collaborated with his fellow Georgia natives on both 2004’s Walking with the Beggar Boys and 2008’s Dark Developments and, as an issued press release explains, ultimately became both an a close friend and mentor to the band. In celebration of this relationship, Elf Power chose to dedicate its forthcoming 10th studio album to its late friend. The self-titled affair will be released on September 14th via personal imprint Orange Twin Records.
For the record, Elf Power tried out a two-pronged strategy. First, they got together with Andy LeMaster (R.E.M., Bright Eyes) at his studio Chase Park Transduction. From there, the band went to bassist/engineer Derek Almstead’s home studio for overdubbing and tweaking. As a result, the album contains LeMaster’s nearly-transparent sheen that adds a fundamental sonic purity and muscularity along with a return to the familiar realms of home-recording that encouraged the band’s initial experimental and communal forays.
It’s heavy on guest appearances too. Key contributions were made by former Elephant 6 guitarists/singers, Will Cullen Hart and Bill Doss of the Olivia Tremor Control. Circulatory System’s John Fernandes and Heather McIntosh added a bunch of layers to Elf Power’s music, including string arrangements and a Mellotron.
The album’s first single, “Stranger In A Window”, can be heard below. A North American tour in September and a European tour in November has also been announced, but dates are not yet available.