PREMIERE: Dante Elephante Leave Their Wireless Devices at Home on “Call Me (on the phone)”

Ruben Zarate’s surf pop project teases their yet-unannounced sophomore album with a new R&B-leaning single.

It’s a fact of life that technology has become a permanent, impish third wheel to a romantic relationship at any stage, from the Catfish-potential of online dating to the myriad interpretations of a text simply reading “K” several years down the road. There’s certainly a nostalgia tied to the more dated mediums (more so AIM, less so Chatroulette), but it often seems the complex symbolism inherent in contemporary electronic relationships is a hairy subject best left to @SeinfeldToday. So says the great non-sequitur of twenty-first century pop music: “Ayo, I’m tired of using technology.”

On the spectrum of telecommunicational misadventures, Dante Elephante’s latest single lands directly between Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone” and “Hotline Bling” both conceptually and—surprisingly—musically. The LA surf rock collective steep Blondie’s new wave sheen and earworm chorus in the same warm bath of contemporary sophisti-pop Drake waded through on his 2015 hit (thanks in part to production from Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado), distancing themselves from the poolside jams they perfected during their years opening for Real Estate, The Orwells, and White Fence. With lyrics expounding upon the implications of a phone call from an ex, Dante solidifies their status as composers of sugary pop morsels worthy of their affiliation to Lolipop Records.

“‘Call Me (on the phone)’ is about my first six months being single after a three-year relationship,” explains frontman and founder Ruben Zarate, ultimately attributing the chorus’s inception to a recent phone conversation he had with his ex. “[When we] hang up, the first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘call me on the phone / cause you know what it does / it says, I have to be someone I’m not.’” Amidst his sunny verses of post-relationship bliss, Zarate’s temporary relapse, of course, comes at the hands of a figurative hotline bling.

Stream “Call Me (on the phone)” (on the SoundCloud) below.

Along with the promise of a new record later this year, Dante Elephante will be hitting the road on a month-long co-headlining tour with Sego in March. See dates below:

3/1 – Seven Grand – San Diego
3/2 – SoHo – Santa Barbara
3/4 – Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
3/6 – Corrales Bistro – Corrales, NM
3/7 – Taos Mesa Brewing – El Prado, NM
3/9 – KIVA – San Marcos, TX
3/10 – Shipping & Receiving – Fort Worth, TX
3/11 – Satellite Bar – Houston, TX
3/12–18 – SXSW
3/20 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
3/21–25 Treefort Fest – Boise, ID
3/26 – Vera Project – Seattle
3/27 – Bunk Bar – Portland
3/29 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco
3/30 – Warehouse Show – San Luis Obispo (secret show)
3/31 – Saloon BBQ – Ventura


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