Formed and reared within the endlessly creative hub of Athens, Georgia in the early ’90s, Elf Power are far from running out of ideas nearly 30 years into their time together as a psych-folk unit. After coming up alongside Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, and the Elephant 6 collective, and paving the way for the next generation of outsider-rock groups like of Montreal and Deerhunter, the project fronted by Andrew Rieger are gearing up to release their 14th studio album called Artificial Countrysides, still grasping onto new ideas anywhere the can find them.
On the album’s latest single “Soft Trash,” Rieger shares that he was inspired by “a samba drum machine beat from a 1970s Baldwin Fun Machine organ, an instrument renowned for its cool and bizarre-sounding drum machine keyboard sounds. I fell in love with this organ/drum machine in the 1990s when our friends in the band Macha used it a lot on several of their great albums. I finally acquired a Fun Machine when we started working on our latest album, and it made it onto several of the songs.
“On ‘Soft Trash,’” he adds, “I liked the beat so much that I recorded it first and then wrote the chords, melody, and lyrics around the drum machine beat, and then our drummer Peter Alvanos doubled the drum machine on real drums, making a nice mix or organic and artificial elements, which became a recurring theme on many of the songs on the album.”
Countering the dystopian imagery of the record’s title, the single’s music video sees the band spending a day in a natural setting, with the hazy and subtly psychedelic clip proving untamed by the song’s anchoring drumbeat. Watch it below, and check out the band’s full list of tour dates here.