By Lindy Moody
Photography Jason Thrasher
IF YOU know anything about Athens, Georgia music, then you know a lot about Elf Power. With over twenty years of tracks, sixteen full albums, and collaboration with bands such as The Flaming Lips and Wilco, Elf Power has more than stood tall (...or short?) against the test of time.
I recommend beginning with their album Sunlight in the Moon for the rest of you who may be wondering who Elf Power is. As one of their more recent albums, it encompasses the full breadth of the eclectic group. The release leans more towards psychedelic rock than their more go-to indie rock recordings.
Like a long acid trip, the album starts off optimistic with a light yet full-bodied tone. If you read in between the lines, as you should with every recording, you will find that the music is much darker lyrically than it first appears. The trip eventually turns tumultuous through thick drum beats and a grinding guitar. When you think you have finally come out of the other side, the tempo picks back up to drop you right where you began your journey. Through a lease of indie rock, Elf Power transports you to a distant destination where the poppy field is full of beats instead of flowers.
Making melodies out of macerated melons, the pandemic allowed Elf Power to focus on what they do best--create. "We have been writing and recording a lot during the pandemic, so we've kept busy, but we're definitely excited to play live again," says guitarist and vocalist Andrew Rieger.
The band has stayed relevant for multiple decades due to its ability to evolve. The recent crisis was no exception. According to Rieger, "Each of the band members has a home recording set up, so during the pandemic, we came up with several songs by each recording our own parts at home and then piecing them together and mixing them at the Glow recording studio in Athens."
You will find me at their next show on June 25th at Ships of the Sea Museum, and attendees can expect a journey through multiple dimensions. "At this show, we'll be playing songs from many of our albums and different eras of the band, as well as a few cover songs from some of our favorite artists," per Rieger.
Elf Power is a powerhouse that will purely bring inspiration to Savannah's music stage. Our town has yet to fully develop its melodic point of view, and such an established grouping will only help further the cause. As Rieger put it, "Athens has been the home of many great bands over the years, and the lineup of Athens bands playing at this event is a good and diverse representation of some of the bands and artists currently coming from Athens."