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London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"The Guardian New Band of the Day"

Talking of new bands of the year so far, which we were yesterday, here's another one: Elephant, a duo from we're not sure where, but apparently the singer, Amelia Rivas, is "French by way of Pontefract". She and Christian Pinchbeck "met while studying together in London in May 2010", and apart from that it's pure speculation all the way, specifically about the nature of their relationship and whether their songs are about each other.

We love the precision of the date they met: May 2010. It means that it meant a lot, and suddenly their music is imbued with a romantic resonance it might otherwise have lacked. Even when the songs are sorrowful, and sometimes they are, they sound like the work of people singing from a privileged position, who can afford the luxury of heartache because they're, well, loved-up. Their music, according to Elephant, is the result of "prolonged nights of fevered creation" during which "ideas were assembled and dissected" and songs "recorded and rejected". Days and nights, they recall wistfully, "merged, and sleep became a friend and an enemy". We bet.

That's one of the beauties of the pop duo, though, isn't it? The set-up, the dynamic, is teasingly ambiguous. Many of 2011's best new "bands", as we called them above, are actually either solo musicians or double acts, suggesting the best new music these days is born out of isolation or the gentle friction of two individuals in a studio. No matter that duos are more economically viable than the classic old-style four- or five-piece band, they're also more emotionally viable. They produce more interesting results, musically and in terms of what they reveal about the human condition.

OK, enough blather, what about those songs? There are five of them, and at least one belongs on a mixtape of the year's best. Elusive Youth is Best Coast-style pop positing Elephant as a girl/boy pairing to rank alongside London's Summer Camp or New York's Cults. There are jejune la-la-la's that hark back to pop's innocent past and make you wonder whether all this pre-rock/late-50s referencing going on right now is coalescing into a bona fide movement, albeit one without geographical borders. Wolf's Cry has a simple electro rhythm and a sound that makes us think of New Buffalo, that great long-lost Noughties project from Sally Seltmann who was part of Oz sampladelicists the Avalanches' orbit. Ants is jauntier, and with its accordion feels a bit French pop, but not as in yesterday's Housse De Racket – we're talking traditional Gallic chansons. Allured is our favourite, though, showcasing Rivas's Lykke-ishly lovely, tremulous voice and featuring an aching chord sequence as well as a keyboard motif that approximates the sound of a trembling heart. B-side Actors is almost as fine: a big pop hit in an alternate universe where Fleetwood Mac's none-more-quirky Tusk (geddit?) was more successful than Rumours. Think Buckingham/Björk rather than Buckingham/Nicks. - The Guardian

"Clash Magazine Ones to Watch"

Some bands take an unnecessarily over-erudite, stab in the dark approach to finding an identity. Elephant, on the other hand, which consists of French-by-way-of-Pontefract chanteuse Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck, “met at the zoo and it was where the elephants were.” Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Since they met last summer, the pair have been hard at work - most of the time, well into the early hours of the morning - piecing together hauntingly terrific songs full of ambient, carnivalesque swing rhythms and wispy vocals via Amelia’s very capable vocal cords. Early on, they worked out that the duo formula worked and within the first night, they had already recorded their first EP. “We don’t talk to each other for hours, and I’ll do my bit and he’ll do his bit. It’s really weird; we just go into this weird trance,” admits Amelia whilst tucking into a Frappuccino. “He gives me like ten minutes to write lyrics; it’s like Countdown.” - Clash Magazine

"Fader Interview"

Yes, there are a lot of boy-girl duos around these days. Kisses, Tennis, Summer Camp, Cults, Big Deal and Cat’s Eyes. They all sound different and fantastic in their own ways but the common vibe is intimate, sun-filtering-through-the-trees, Polaroid-pop. Blame Beach House I guess.

Some of these couples are making more than just musical love. Most of them are real life couples (Summer Camp), some of them are not (Big Deal), but I was pretty surprised to see Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck, who go by the moniker Elephant, not only making music together but also just making out, topless, in their moodily-lit video for recent single “Allured”.

This is what we all secretly want to see anyway: musicians making out. Of course it helps that French-born Rivas (in her final year at journalism school) and Pinchbeck (recent graphic design grad from Chelsea College of Art and Design) create a dusky, sonic swoon that’s easy to fall for. Lushly layered with organs or moody synths and perfectly placed tambourine shakes, Rivas’ pouting vocal is both lustly assured and lip-bitingly vulnerable. I had a getting-to-know you chat with the quick-quipping pair. Read it and download their track “Actors,” below.

Read more: http://www.thefader.com/2011/08/18/dollars-to-pounds-elephant/#ixzz1dfxtgs50 - The Fader

"Dazed and Confused Interview"

Unlike their animal namesake, London duo Elephant tread lightly - with French-by-way-of-Pontefact chanteuse Amelia Rivas’ crystal clear vocals floating over Christian Pinchbeck’s beguiling melodies. Only formed in May ’10, they release their second 7” (after the subtly seductive debut ‘Ants’), the enchanting ‘Allured/Actors’ on August 16 on Memphis Industries.


...your secret talent?
Christian Pinchbeck: It's a secret.
Amelia Rivas: My bones are deformed so they bend quite well. This means I can do a 360 twist with my wrist.

...your dream collaboration?
Christian Pinchbeck: Duet with R. Kelly ft. 50 Cent. Imagine a soul injected chorus with Amelia swooning on the verses and Fiddy tearing it up at the end. Phwoar.
Amelia Rivas: I would want Pharrell for the beats and simply something nice to look at, Ratatat doing the keys and me doing a duet with Barry White.

...the story behind your name?
Christian Pinchbeck: Amelia has a hidden tusk, so it only seemed appropriate. Plus we just wanted to have the same name as a million other bands.
Amelia Rivas: I also have a massive trunk.

...your favourite sound?
Christian Pinchbeck: Apart from music? The noise Amelia makes when she's about to climax. Music wise; anything drenched in reverb and smothered with a bit of female swoon.
Amelia Rivas: Organs, the sea, tacky drumbeats, and the sound of scooters in the evening when you're abroad.

...your vision of the future?
Christian Pinchbeck: Having a better bandname.
Amelia Rivas: Elephant going on American roadtrip, ending up in me living in Mexico forever.

…the thing that makes you smile?
Christian Pinchbeck: Listening to a new song the day after we finished recording the demo (and sobered up)
Amelia Rivas: Waking up in another country and forgetting where you are. But mainly my cat Panda, she's a total babe.

…your earliest memory?
Christian Pinchbeck: Riding my red and yellow bike through mother's conservatory.
Amelia Rivas: My earliest memory is seeing fireworks. It scared the shit out of me

...the best thing about where you're from?
Christian Pinchbeck: Stroud? It's beautifully tranquil....really idyllic. Taking a nice weekend break from the city is great escapism. Best thing about London is the Japanese Store.
Amelia Rivas: Pontefract had the first ever Haribo factory. This offered my town cheap sweets and licorice clouds.

...are you listening to now?
Christian Pinchbeck: Right this second I am listening to SLEEP 8 OVER, but I'm really digging some Disco Funk too... R Kelly's new album. Twin Sister are fab too....
Amelia Rivas: I am fascinated by 70s funk bands such as Shalamar at the minute, the dance routines are to die for. My favourite funk song at the minute has to be George Benson, 'Give Me the Night' it’s probably one of the best songs ever written and it reminds me of my parents dancing in the kitchen whilst cooking calamari.

How would you describe your work?
Christian Pinchbeck: Around 79p on iTunes.
Amelia Rivas: An accident that actually turned out pretty well. Also I think the band keeps me sane. - Dazed and Confused

"Abeano Track Review"

South London duo Elephant show off their gelid pop skills on the lead track from their forthcoming The Assembly EP. Over a sea of coos and steely, heart-swelling synths, Amelia Rivas sighs “I’m just a skeleton, the rest is numb” with such ice cool apathy, the prospect is almost inviting. What is most exciting about ‘Assembly’ though (aside from how much of a progression it is from Elephant’s beginnings) is the twinkling climax that fades out into an acapella echo chamber of Rivas telling herself “Don’t dwell on who, I won’t dwell over you.”
- Abeano.com


Ants 7" - Memphis Industries - Jan 2011
Allured 7" - Memphis Industries - July 2011
Assembly EP - Memphis Industries - Oct 2011



Elephant are Amelia Rivas and Christian Pinchbeck, a new young London based duo. Amelia and Christian met in the summer of 2010 at a house party and started writing songs that very night. Mining their shared love of 4AD's halcyon 80s releases, and 90s R&B they soon built up a vast catalogue of demos, which came to the attention of legendary London indie label Memphis Industries. Their debut 7" Ants was released on in January 2011 and picked up support at BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6music.

Their second 7" Allured was released July 2011. Allured striped away layers, to produce a pure expression of the confusion of love (and lust). Amelia’s disjointed lyricism spoke of anatomy and of carousels, hinting at both the poetics and mechanics of unrequited desire. And on the AA side Actors, Elephant explore the tension of attention, both the craving to be noticed and the desire to melt away into the crowd.

Elephant have just completed work on forthcoming EP Assembly due for release October 2011, with a album sessions due to begin in France in December of this year