EP Review: Forty Elephant Gang – Slow Down The Days

Forty Elephant Gang
Slow Down The Days
Release Date: 18th September 2014

London folk four piece Forty Elephant Gang have recently released their debut EP ‘Slow Down The Days’ which has seen the band reach number 54 in iTunes UK singer/songwriter chart already all from their own self-promotion and word of mouth. Quite an impressive feat from the quartet who merge sounds from folk, bluegrass, pop and Americana to create music that is clearly capturing the imagination of many out there.

‘Joan of Arc’ starts out immediately with banjo and guitar chords mingling together to create a very full sounding track before vocals come in hitting soaring notes instantly and perfectly accompanying the catchy folk atmosphere. The choruses are big moments with layers of vocals that are the main focal point over the fast plucking of strings from the low bass through to the mandolin and quick strums of acoustic guitar. A great opener that instantly catches your attention from the off making you want to hear the rest of what these guys have to offer.

It is a softer opening to ‘In This Place’ with flowing sounds and a banjo riff that dances its way around the track. There is a brilliant melody to this that makes you want to tap your foot along to the rhythm of the four stringed instruments and the great harmonies created by them all vocally. I really love this track, it is a great example of modern folk and the infectious atmosphere will have everyone hooked.

A catchy rhythm mixed with slight Latin influences opens ‘Tell Lies’, this one plods along brilliantly building up to choruses through vocals that ascend and a quickening of pace and tempo from the instruments. The intricate oscillating mandolin strums are what gives that European feel to which builds from calm to fast playing and even more emphasis on the Latin melodies towards the end of the track.

A rock-tinged opening to the final track ‘Hand Out Your Pockets’ which subsides slowly giving way to the vocals which feature a rock edge adding to the old school country/bluegrass feel found here. Those classic sounds can be quite off-putting for many but the band have mixed them with modern day sensibilities through catchy choruses, poppy harmonies and great musicality. A brilliant end note.

This is a very impressive release from the four piece who’ve managed to bring traditional sounds of folk and bluegrass to the fore and build on them bringing them to a wider audience. That is an impressive feat and challenge in itself but it has really paid off especially when the band have released music as good as this.

Check out the track ‘In The Place’ from the EP below:

To find out more about Forty Elephant Gang visit their website, their Facebook page, their Soundcloud page or you can follow them on Twitter – @40elephantgang

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