Tag: Single Review: Hometown

New Audio: Elephant Shares a Gorgeous, Meditative New Single

Formed back in 2020, Rotterdam-based indie rock outfit Elephant spent the better part of that year throwing themselves fully into songwriting, spending much of their free time at their greenhouse studio, just outside of town.

Early last year, the Dutch indie rock band released their debut EP. The EP’s material, which featured beautiful melodies, subtle grooves and sobering lyrics caught the attention of journalists nationally, including pop journalist Leo Blokhuis. Several EP songs were playlisted on Amazing Radio with “Midnight in Manhattan” landing at #12 on the Verrukkelijke 15 Dutch National Radio Chart. They capped off a big 2021 by signing to Dutch label Excelsior Recordings, who will release their Pablo van de Poel-produced full-length debut Big Thing later this year.

The Rotterdam-based band started the year off with the critically applauded single “Calling” and an attention grabbing appearance at this year’s Eurosonic Nooderslag. Continuing upon that momentum, the band released “Medicine,” a 70s rock meets jam band-like song that’s simultaneously sunny and melancholy, evoking the sun peaking out from clouds.

Big Thing‘s third and latest single “Hometown” is a gorgeous song that’s one part 70s AM rock meets shoegaze: shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, a supple bass line and an enormous hook are paired with Crosby, Stills and Nash-like multi-part harmonies. Much like their previously released material, “Hometown” is emotionally ambiguous: hopeful and forward-thinking yet melancholy and full of the recognition that something has changed forever.

“‘Hometown’ is a song about leaving your hometown to chase your dreams and find your own place,” the rising Dutch band explain. “And about returning and realizing that the peacefulness is comforting but you can no longer call it home.”

Sawyer Gebauer is a Wisconsin-born, Oakland, CA-based singer/songwriter, who has spent a great deal of his musical career moving back and forth between the States and Europe. When he was 19, Gebauer relocated to Sweden, where he founded and formed Brittsommar, a musical project that featured a rotating cast of musicians and received quite a bit of attention across Continental Europe with the release of their 2011 debut effort Day Of Living Velvet. After the release of Brittsommar’s debut, Gebauer relocated to Berlin where he recored 2013’s The Machine Stops in a dilapidated warehouse. Eventually, Gebauer returned to the States, recording the final Brittsommar effort 2015’s Mary Me EP at TRI Studios in San Rafael, CA 

After Brittsommar ended, Gebauer started his latest musical project Catch Prichard, which draws deeply from Americana; in fact, Gebauer has publicly cited Townes Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen‘s 1995 release The Ghost of Tom Joad as major influences on his latest project, and that he wanted to write and record a collection of stripped down songs based around narrative and melody — and the end result is the soon-to-be released Eskota EP, a five song EP named after the Texas ghost town in which it was recorded. 

The first single from the EP “Hometown” is an elegantly simple track featuring Gebauer’s gorgeous and moody baritone, accompanied by his dexterous guitar strumming, and gently padded drumming — and the result is a sparse, spectral song that’s indebted to folk as much as it country, while possessing a narrator’s attention to physical and psychological detail.