Psychedelic-indie rockers, Elephant Stone, recently shared news of an upcoming new album, their sixth full-length release since their 2009 debut, and are teasing us with their latest single and music video for the album’s title track. Hailing from Montreal, QC, this Polaris Music Prize nominated band of Rishi Dhir (bass/sitar/vocals), Robbie MacArthur (guitar) and Mike Dupire (percussion) have toured extensively across North America and Europe, enjoying significant success within the college and indie music scenes.
Skim reading some of the accompanying bio’s to find my next ‘fix’ from the many new releases discovered in my email inbox, it would take just one name to jump out at me, ending my continual thumb-swipes and digging deeper for information. That name? Jason Kent. You know, Jason Kent? Everybody knows Jason Kent, right? Okay, don’t feel bad if you are drawing a blank, because prior to June 2017, I too had no clue of this musical artists’ existence. But with a random purchase of an unloved 2006 self-titled CD found tucked away in a Canadian thrift store, I made an impulsive purchase on this album that became one of my personal favorite candidates for our “Take A Chance On Me” series of articles. This album checked all the right boxes for my own personal listening criteria, and left me asking that question, where was Jason Kent now? The answer, it seems, is that this guitarist and keyboard player is currently credited as a touring performer with Elephant Stone. Tis a small world, indeed.
“If social media has taught us anything, it’s that there are a lot of unhappy people out there who are trying to find a way out,” shares founding member and vocalist Rishi Dhir. “With this in mind, I set forth writing a song-suite telling of a world of unhappy souls who have lost connection with each other. The storyline touches upon the plundering/poisoning of their home, the elite, demagogues, false idols, the truth as seen by children, and, ultimately, the fight for the survival of their species.” Opening with a moving synth-psyche rock introduction, “Hollow World” is where Elephant Stone’s new journey begins. The sitar-centric sound fuses perfectly with Dhir’s great indie vocals, luring both long-time fans and casual listeners into their universe for a 3:51 journey of self-consciousness and personal reflection.
Social media is, of course, bringing many passionate individuals together to address these social, economic and political issues, with the likes of Greta Thunberg representing the next generation of younger activists who recognize the global reach of social media networks. Elephant Stone have taken note of such impact, icing the single with some haunting and thought-provoking lyrics courtesy of Rishi’s 9-year old daughter, Meera, who beautifully delivers the lines: “Goodbye sunshine / Hello dark skies / So long clean air / Do you care?” Wrapping this powerful message in their indie-psychedelic packaging, “Hollow World” quickly earned my attention. Elephant Stone quickly earned my attention. Jason Kent, you have done it again – you have me craving much more, and leave me counting down the days until the album is released next February.