[sic] Magazine

Invisible Elephant – Anomie Or Swimming In A Black Sea

There’s always a sneaking suspicion that despite listening to entire record shops’ worth of music you’re still missing out all the same on loads of good stuff. The little-known Brit who goes by the name of Invisible Elephant will undoubtedly fall into the latter of these camps for most, but Anomie Or Swimming In A Black Sea , his long-playing follow-up to the fuzzy oneirism of 2010’s limited The Lights Go Out , ought to go a long way in rectifying this anomaly.

Often as swirly and indistinct as its artwork (see the shimmering dream-gaze of “Do You Believe?”, or the pretty little cut “Everything”, whose breathy male-female vocals bob in undulating melodies that fade in like a summer’s breeze), Anomie is a patiently crafted work. Happy to dwell in fragile, interlude-like ambience, so too is it in the hushed whispers of the 7+ minute album centrepiece “When It’s All Over”. The way in which its tender post-rock progressions foreshadow the track’s inevitable burst of feedback and heavy outro only compound the impression that one gets of Invisible Elephant being a more than steady helmsman.

As such, the spikes of distortion in “Room 208”, which bring to mind melodic terrorists HEALTH , that is if they were being steam-rollered by a Decepticon in the throes of a hard-line hack, rock the boat somewhat. So too, the smothering reverb and feedback of “Black Sound” – a track that hints as much at the raw sonics of Slint as it does the usual 80s touchstones. And that’s before its bludgeoning drums push for prominence with near-metal urgency.

The ability then to reign it all in for “Wish”, a yearning lament that layers guest vocalist Ryli over echoing strumming, is all the more impressive. It’s doubly striking that in doing so the result recalls some hybrid of current it-girl Julianna Barwick and, to these ears at least, choice warbler Jane Siberry .

Invisible Elephant is a difficult beast to pin down. His capriciousness for genre however doesn’t insult the attention – quite the opposite. There’s a certain depth of pride evident throughout Anomie . Though it wears its largely impeccable influences on its sleeve, it does so with the swollen chest of a shy boy scout nevertheless keen to display his latest addition.

~Anomie Or Swimming In A Black Sea is released 15th August 2011 on Two Hands Music . There will be a strictly limited, handmade hardback-bound book edition, as well as a standard edition and digital download available.~

Invisible Elephant @ myspace

Invisible Elephant @ bandcamp