Comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals), Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio Elephant Stone have developed a national profile across their native Canada, as well as a profile Stateside for a vintage psych rock sound reminiscent of The Beatles, The Kinks and others, as it the Canadian trio’s material employed elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation — i.e., the sitar — with Western songwriting. And as a result, over the past few years, Elephant Stone has become a JOVM mainstay artist.
The 2014 release of the Canadian trio’s third full-length effort, The Three Poisons, revealed a band that was in the process of a major change in sonic direction. Unlike the band’s first two albums, the material on Three Poisons pushed sitar to the background — and when it was employed, it was mainly to add texture and color. Now, if you were frequenting this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about “The Devil’s Shelter,” a song that featured a guest spot from The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas. The members of Elephant Stone pair tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar and guitar chords, and propulsive rhythm with Dihr’s vocals for the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals to craft a song that feels (and sounds) ominous and murky, while channelling The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”
The Montreal-based trio’s latest single “Where I’m Going” continues where the trio’s experimentation left off — while suggesting that the band’s newest sonic direction has been inspired by the likes of Primal Scream (in particular, I think of “Autobahn 66” and
“Detroit” as Dihr’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitar chords, a tight and propulsive, motorik groove, four-on-the-floor drumming and layers of shimmering and undulating synths in what may arguably be the most dance-floor ready songs that they’ve released to date — all while remaining as psychedelic as ever. Interestingly, the band have been working on their fourth full-length effort, and if the last two singles they’ve released are indicative of its sound, the members of Elephant Stone are set to push their sound — and in turn, psych rock — in new directions.
The band will be on tour throughout March, and it includes an NYC date. Check out the tour dates below.