Elephants into Swans, the long-awaited new album by the Sun Sawed in 1/2 has been around for some time now. After a lot of listening, analyzing and thinking I can't find anything to criticize!
As a manifestation of creativity the album succeeds in every way: it contains impeccably performed and mixed, fascinating, catchy pop songs. In my opinion, Elephants into Swans is also a mediator of positive energy and positive thoughts, even though the emotional scale of the music is of course multidimentional and open to different interpretations.
Thematically, the album focuses on the positive sides of love and relationships. Elephants into Swans also clearly embraces the beauty of new-found love. Tim Rose's lyrics are as playful as ever: wordplays, metaphors and double entendres (similar to 1960s bubblegum music lyrics) add to the linguistic richness.
When it comes to the arrangements, everything is really well-thought and professional. The traditional rock band instruments are often accompanied by piano/organ, horns and sometimes strings. Everything is so carefully designed that I still probably haven't noticed all the details – some of the spices have basically been hidden to the mix (Brittle Star can sound rather different with headphones!).
The piano, organ and synth elements deserve a special thanks. Meanwhile, electric guitars are often used like a percussion, leaving room for other instruments (such as piano). In addition, Matt Martin's drum work has always been one of my favorite elements on Sun's albums – an element that seems to get more and more interesting on each new Sun album! So, there is a lot to pay attention to but the mix is elegant and natural and therefore free of heavy compression.
Still my favorite vocalist, Mr. Doug Bobenhouse just keeps getting better. On this album his singing sounds more powerful than ever. Besides the distictive sweetness, you have to admire how he puts his soul into each song.
Tim Rose has stated that he is very satisfied with his songwriting on this album. You can say that the quality control has indeed been rigorous. It is, in fact, quite difficult to pick any special favorites – every song is really good! I enjoy the mysteriously sweet atmosphere of Elephants into Swans as well as the discreet melancholy of Nowhere Fast. This Girl's My Lullaby might be the most easy-going song on the album, and the topic is fantastic. She Offers Her Heart, on the other hand, expresses utter joy and Waltzing in Clover pretty much does the same.
If I had to choose only one favorite song, I would definitely choose You're Getting Warm. The psychedelic flanger heaven is followed by really satisfying beatle riffs and some magical developments. Multiple lead singers is a unique one-time solution on the whole album, and it reminds me of the early Sun. To cut a long story short, the song starts very nicely, turns into real gold and pretty much builds up to ecstatic greatness (those drums)!
Despite the geographical challenges (band members living very far from each other), The Sun Sawed in 1/2 is back and hopefully making many excellent records in the future as well. Elephants into Swans is a fantastic album – something to enjoy countless times and to be truly proud of.
The Sun Sawed in 1/2 on Bandcamp
The Sun Sawed in 1/2 on Bandcamp