ELEPHANT SESSIONS - What Makes You
The second CD outing for the award-winning highland indie-folk band (with a third digital-only release available) finds them having an accomplished attempt at replicating their current live act in a studio setting. This is often a difficult task for bands that are primarily live show orientated. Here they have given it a good punt and they have managed to showcase the individual talents within the group really well – particularly the fiddle of Euan Smillie and Alasdair Taylor on mandolin who drive the tunes with confidence, although this is a real team effort which is tied together nicely by Seth Tinsley on bass and synth, Mark Bruce on guitar and Gregg Barry on drums/samples.
The completely self-penned and arranged collection of tunes have a traditional feel about them, despite their modern origins. A proper highland musical revolution is encapsulated here. However, despite the slick production and brilliant musicianship, there is no substitute for seeing this group in concert, where they take the audience along with them on a musical journey that enthrals from start to finish.
Probably the two tracks that close the album, Rivervew Pts 1 & 2 give the best all round summation of their talent – and felt to me as if they were leading in a new direction, even if they stopped in their tracks a bit too abruptly for my liking. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to marvel at here, another solid set of tunes with tight instrumentation. Shame it’s only coming in at barely 40 mins…