Elk City is a sonic chimera, a band that adeptly assembles familiar musical fragments into a wholly singular, unprecedented sound. Their craft lies in the art of sonic reconfiguration, taking cues from the psychedelic pop of the ’60s, echoes of dreamy ’80s pop, and a splash of avant-garde post-punk, all effortlessly intertwined with contemporary rock sensibilities. Yet, the aural blueprint they unveil before you is an architectural marvel, defying any conventional listening experience. It’s a masterful fusion of the known and the novel, the nostalgic and the yet-to-be-explored.
With the title track as the opening salvo, Elk City plunges us headlong into the kind of aural landscape reminiscent of the heyday of Jefferson Airplane. It’s a deliberate choice, speaking volumes about the band’s ethos. Instead of a sonic sucker punch, they opt for an honest, intricate, and creatively wound introduction.
Their music, perpetually veiled in a hazy, kaleidoscopic aura, leaves ample room for exploration within this sonic realm. “Tried To Move On” reimagines Fleetwood Mac as a less flamboyant 90s underground indie-pop ensemble, while “Ride The Surf” gently drifts as a pastoral reverie, intermittently phasing in and out of conventional musical structures. Then there’s “Pathway,” an almost Kate Bush-esque reverie of dreamlike pop.
Elk City never fails to mesmerize, primarily because there’s hardly anything to compare them to. In a world where every musician strives to mimic the current vogue, where everyone clamors to be the next big sensation, Elk City remains content in its own musical skin. Oh, if only more bands were as blissfully self-assured as this, as wonderfully happy in their own musical skin.