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Lucky Elephant - Star Sign Trampoline

Lucky Elephant, Star Sign Trampoline

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE PR triumphantly proclaims that “just in time for summer come the sun soaked melodies of Sunday Best newcomers Lucky Elephant and their debut album Star Sign Trampoline.” You may think so too after hearing it.

Packed with shimmering melodies, sparkling guitar loops and a generally sunny disposition – in spite of some melancholy lyrics – it’s a charming debut offering that really deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

Lucky Elephant are comprised of French vocalist Emmanuel ‘Manu’ Labescat, Sam Johnson (guitar, wurlitzer and piano), Paul Burnley (synth bass and harmonium) and Laurence Clack (drums), and their music is really quite mesmerising – comprised of beautifully composed instrumentals that are juxtaposed by lyrics that reflect on cultural struggles and urban melancholia.

They’ve been compared to The Bees, and there are similarities, but Lucky Elephant are very much a major new force in their own right. Album opener, and eponymous offering Lucky Elephant, is a delightful starting point that capably – and endearingly – displays the quirky side to the band.

It’s an instrumental that skips along on its organ hook, sounding – as its PR suggests – like the theme from some forgotten children’s show (Ivor The Engine anyone?). But it works…

Another former single, Edgar, follows and is fittingly dewscribed as “a sublime ray of musical sunshine”. It boasts a tumbling, sparkling guitar line and some nice vocal harmonising, with a pop-folk edge. You should be hooked.

Thereafter, the highlights keep coming. Red Ties Vs The Bees is a slightly more sombre, yet beautifully composed, piano-soaked offering that talks of the “Tour de France” over its chorus and features a more low-key vocal showing from Manu, while The Pier thrives from a cascading central guitar loop that’s really quite mesmerising.

The upbeat nature of the music is exemplified once again by the cheery Hammond organ sound of Reverend Tilsley & His Magic Lantern, a surreal slice of plasticine storytelling, while there’s a dusky, almost bluesy quality to the piano that accompanies Burn Down The Acres, another disarming highlight and instrumental.

Just occasionally, the odd track fails to satisfy as much, with When You Fall To Earth being an example of something a little too experimental sounding, but Lucky Elephant always come back with something else to beguile.

Neptune works well from its appealing mix of acoustic guitar licks and tick-tick drum beats, as well as a strong chorus, and album closer Timebomb ends things with a suitable flourish.

All in all, it’s time to start roaring about this particular Lucky Elephant!

Download picks: Lucky Elephant, Edgar, Reverend Tilsley & His Magic Lantern, Red Ties Vs The Bees, Burn Down The Acres, Timebomb

Track listing:

  1. Lucky Elephant
  2. Edgar
  3. Red Ties Vs The Bees
  4. Pier, The
  5. Modern Life Changing People
  6. Reverend Tilsley And His Magic Lantern
  7. Burn Down The Acres
  8. Beginning, The
  9. When You Fall To Earth
  10. Neptune
  11. Time Bomb