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Photo Credit: Laurine Jousserand
Montreal psych-rockers Elephant Stone return today with “Pilgrimage,” the latest single from their upcoming album, Back Into the Dream, due out February 23rd, 2024. Dotted with elements of free-jazz inspired by the ambient-driven sound of the legendary act Talk Talk, the track uses an idyllic beach scene (depicted in its lyric video, directed by Laurine Jousserand) as a jumping off point for frontman Rishi Dhir’s musings on navigating the journeys we take alone, both physically and spiritually.
Rishi explains, “In the early 2000s, I found myself crisscrossing America in a van, shoulder-to-shoulder with a motley crew of musicians…When you’re constantly on the move, it’s easy to build emotional walls, to isolate yourself even while surrounded by others. I am particularly prone to this.”
“During one tour, we found ourselves with a few days to spare in Oregon. Armed with ‘Two Buck Chuck,’ olive bread, and cheese from Trader Joe’s, I made my way to the coast. As I sat on the sand dunes, I watched the clouds roll in rapidly, becoming one with the tumultuous waves and the awe-inspiring might of nature. At that moment, it felt as though I had been on a pilgrimage to the ends of the Earth, seeking a personal communion with the divine. With ‘Pilgrimage’ I attempted to capture the essence of that journey—a voyage not just across the physical landscape, but through the intricate terrains of the soul, reminding us that sometimes, the most profound discoveries are made when we’re farthest from home.”
As the band’s 6th album, Back Into the Dream feels like a sort of culmination of frontman Rishi Dhir’s musical journey, both with the project and with his time working with bands like The Black Angels, Beck, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Thematically dwelling on the mysteries of dreams and capturing the cycle of sleep and wakefulness, the music is a mix of the band’s evolved neo-psych sensibilities with newly added traces of free-jazz (as heard on today’s release) that supplement Dhir’s signature sitar work, and a few sticky sweet power-pop melodies sprinkled throughout.
Catch Elephant Stone on their North American tour this spring including a hometown show in Montreal on March 22nd. Tickets and more information can be found here.
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