Elephant Stone, a Montreal, QC-based psych rock trio comprised of Rishi Dihr (lead vocals, sitar, bass), Jean-Gabriel Lambert (drums, backing vocals), and Miles Dupire (drums, backing vocals) have become something of a mainstay on this site, as I’ve written about them on a number of occasions throughout the past few years, including last week when I wrote about their collaboration with The Black Angels‘ Alex Maas. (It’s a collaboration that has gone back several years, as Dihr contributed sitar on The Black Angels’ sophomore effort, Directions To See A Ghost.)
Obviously, there are some new readers and visitors — and for those who are unfamiliar with the band, some backstory may be a necessary. So here we go: Dihr is a renowned sitar player and bassist, who was once a member of The High Dials. And with Elephant Stone, Dihr and his bandmates have developed a reputation for a sound that employs elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation with Western songwriting in a way that’s reminiscent of the 60s psychedelic sound pioneered by The Beatles, The Kinks and others.
The Canadian’s trio third full-length effort, The Three Poisons released last year revealed a band that had gone through a major change in sonic direction. Sitar was pushed to the background and employed here and there to add texture and to retain the material’s psychedelic feel. Now, as I mentioned earlier, last week I wrote about the band’s latest single “The Devil’s Shelter,” which features The Black Angels’ Alex Maas. As Dihr explained in press notes, “I knew all along that the dark mood of this song needed something even darker. Lo and behold, a Black Angel came to my rescue. Alex Maas and I have been friends for well over 10 years and I try to collaborate with him as much as possible. I sent him a bunch of my demos for our new album to get his feedback. Of all the songs, I felt this one was missing something. He offered to re-sing this whole song and I could do with it what I wanted. On the first playback of his vocals, I knew the song had what it needed. His voice can summon Tibetan monks, Nico and the devil all at once. He definitely brought the darkness to my light.”
Interestingly, the latest Elephant Stone single is a marked change in sonic direction as it begins with a tense, undulating synths, shimmering sitar chords, propulsive drumming paired with Dihr’s vocals on the song’s verses and Maas’ vocals on the chorus and hook to create a song that feels and sounds ominous and murky — and as though it channels The Black Angels “Don’t Play With Guns.”
The Canadian trio recently released a tense and anxious video that follows a woman as she’s being chased by some evil presence over train tracks, in cemeteries and woods. But in some way, it suggests that evil can be darkly seductive, as the video’s heroine spends a couple of tender moments with the same evil presence that (presumably) had been chasing her.
The band will be embarking on a West Coast tour throughout November. Check out the tour dates and info below.
11/12 – San Diego CA – Whistle Stop (Info)
11/13 – Los Angeles CA – Hotel Cafe (Info)
11/14 – Santa Ana CA – Constellation Room (Info)
11/18 – Seattle WA – LoFi (Info)
11/19 – Vancouver BC – The Cobalt (Info)
11/20 – Portland OR – Bunk Bar (Info)
11/21 – Oakland CA – The New Parish for Echo Fest (Info)