For most musicians, the creative process of making music starts with an emotion, an intangible feeling that they can convey only through sound. I’ve often wondered if there is any correlation between emotional trends in music and broader world events and cultural trends, but that is a discussion for another day. Suffice to say, the more emotion an artist conveys in their songs, the more accessible it becomes to emotional people.
It goes without saying that Elika, a two-piece, Brooklyn-based DIY electronic-pop band, has mastered this art of conveying emotion. Though the prevalent feeling of their new album Snuggle Bunnies is a mixture of angst, pain, and frustration, there is a certain prevailing sense of hope and potential permeating the entire album, lending an unexpected brightness to an album primarily about breakups and heartache.
Let me be straight: you can call Elika indie shoegaze/dream-pop, but to accurately define their music would require much more space than we have here. Snuggle Bunnies is a multi-genre album in the truest sense, ranging from danceable, bubbly, multi-layered electro to dreamy ambience and synth psychedelia. Evangelia Maravelias has a beautiful voice, and her harmonizations throughout the album are absolutely wonderful. All the elements combine to form a very compelling and diverse selection.
The only concern I have with this album is in its flow. Why put the single, “Summer,” an upbeat, angsty hipster-anthem at the front of the disc? ”Stand Still,” track two on Snuggle Bunnies, sounds like the Intro of a great album. Putting “Summer” before it feels odd and threatens to derail the flow of the whole album right from the get-go.
Elika has the vision, the talent and the relevance to make it as a fantastic chart-topper. Their DIY production style is very encouraging to other budding hipsters/artists, and if it weren’t for the tracklist and the relatively low level of thematic diversity in the lyrical content, this album could have been a late addition to my top albums of 2010. As it is, I am very much looking forward to hearing more from this duo. 87/100 B+