Lucky Elephant - The Rainy Kingdom (Sunday Best Records)
|Lucky Elephant - The Rainy Kingdom|
It is a repetitively hypnotic bassline that introduces this album from London AngloFrancs Lucky Elephant. 'Old Kent Road' has a charming, Elbow-esque quality to it which eases the listener in to the album beautifully like a comfy sofa on a bitter autumnal evening. Things get a whole lot less comfortable on 'The British Working Man' which fuses Gilbert and Lemon Jelly with some old pathé sound recordings to create a Heath Robinson style melee of sounds. By the time we reach 'All The Streets I Have Known', the band have settled in to some kind of stride but it seems to be the stride of a man with legs of different lengths and a spring in his step. 'Emperor' is a chilled, hillbilly infused acoustic lope with a country feel to it while 'Buckets & Spades' is a gentle, end-of-the-night waltz that is just perfect for some cheek to cheek dancing.
Things get altogether funkier on 'The Flipside Of Spring' as the guys blend the Black Keys and White Stripes with a sense of 70s French cool that comes riding in on a moped on cobbled streets wearing beige corduroy and vintage Ray Bans. The key to the beauty of Lucky Elephant is that they keep melodies at the heart of everything they do but that doesn't prevent them from experimenting with different styles and directions. 'The Girl I Love', for instance, has its roots deep in the Jazz world but also brings in the cosy familiarity of Badly Drawn Boy so it doesn't feel to alien to the listener. 'Mercy' is a funky beast with lashings of organ chords and some scratchy, bouncy guitars while 'Helen' is a chilled out, South of France beach bum of a song with floaty guitars and some wonderful charms. The album is brought to a close with 'Little Darlings' which bobs and weaves like a uncle at a wedding with slightly better moves than you'd given him credit for, making you see him in an entirely different light. I think I love everything about Lucky Elephant but not in a lustful, passionate way. No, this is a band I want to go on long walks with and stay up all night listening to records with while we drink red wine and have tangential conversations.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/luckyelephantmusic
17th September - Lee Valley Velo Park w/Iron Horse