Elf Power w/ The Tammy Shine

Ages 16 and up
Wednesday, June 21
Doors: 7pm Show: 8pm
 Advance -- Over 21: 15
 Advance -- Under 21: 15

Lost Lake Presents Elf Power with The Tammy Shine on Wednesday, June 21st.

“Artificial countrysides” is the term Elf Power coined to describe the gray zones where the natural world collides with the creeping encroachment of the digital realm, where the balance between real and simulated can shift from one minute to the next. Artificial Countrysides is also the name of the Athens, Ga., band’s new album, their first since 2017 and their first for Yep Roc. It’s a collection of 12 spellbinding psych-laced songs that blur the line between traditional and futuristic while seeking to make sense of our relationship to each.

The idea behind the name of the album has a more concrete application, too. “That title also describes the songwriting process, of world-building or creating an artificial landscape within a song,” singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Rieger says. He and his Elf Power bandmates — drummer Peter Alvanos and guitarist Dave Wrathgabar, with contributions from keyboard player Laura Carter — have created some of the band’s most expansive musical terrain yet. 

Artificial Countrysides pushes Elf Power’s music in unexpected directions that accentuate the psych-rock sound the band has been honing for close to 30 years. Along with a blend of fuzz-tone electric and layered acoustic guitars, Moog keyboards and lively drums, the group experimented with the sounds of marimba, Mellotron, harpsichord, synth bass and distorted drum machine loops, all topped with melodies that echo in your head long after the music stops. The effect is electrifying, on songs that are unmistakably from Elf Power, yet muscular and propulsive in a distinctive new way.

The juxtaposition comes to vivid life on first single “The Gas Inside the Tank.” The song pairs organ and woozy slide guitar with synth bass and the sound of a gurgling Moog for an effect at once disorienting and enveloping, as Rieger imagines a post-apocalyptic world full of deserted cities where people have resorted to siphoning gas from abandoned vehicles. On the second single, album opener “Undigested Parts,” Rieger doubles his vibrant vocal melody with an unsettling whisper as he ponders how unprocessed events and emotions can erupt at unexpected times, pushed along by a dense blanket of fuzzed-out guitars, ethereal keyboards and a mix of live and programmed drums. 

Elf Power is nearly always working on new music, and the dozen songs on Artificial Countrysides were among 20 or so that began taking shape not long after the group released 2017’s Twitching in Time. Though the band made some of the new album at The Glow studio in Athens, pandemic considerations meant the musicians often recorded their parts by themselves at home. Fortunately, they were in no hurry.

In fact, Artificial Countrysides makes a persuasive case that Elf Power is at its most creative when the musicians work without time constraints. After all, if songwriting is about building your own world, the clocks can run on whatever time you want.

– 16+, under 16 admitted with ticketed guardian
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