The earthy and intense music of Elfin Saddle, with its large melting pot of influences, is as inventive and edgy as warm and emotionally engaging. Co-founded by multi-instrumentalists Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie, the band's compositions are like delicately crafted invitations to wonderment. Naturally we were delighted when Elfin Saddle agreed to put together our first mixtape of the autumn. And here it is, filled with tracks that will make the summer want to stick around a bit longer.
I can’t even begin to describe my affection for the Montreal based outfit Elfin Saddle. Initially birthed as the duo of multi-instrumentalists Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie, they expanded to a trio with the addition of long-standing third member Nathan Gage on double bass and tuba. The group’s earthy, intense and heartfelt music magically fuses various genres, from folk to baroque and to classical Japanese music. Nearly two years ago now, Elfin Saddle released Devastates, a beautiful and majestic album that was one of our Picks of 2012.
Here’s some wonderful news. They have recently recorded three unreleased tracks for the Pinball Sessions, a music project where artists from different horizons record three or four song sessions “live off the floor” in a no-pressure environment. In the studio, artists are invited to “try stuff out” as they describe, and experiment with already recorded songs and unreleased ones. The result gets published twice a week and can be streamed and downloaded for free.
Lucky us, we can now listen to three magnificent new tracks from Elfin Saddle, ‘Bell’, ‘Creature’ and ‘Reed:Rise’. According to the Pinball Sessions’ folks, this session was recorded “on a picturesque summer day” in Guelph, Ontario at the Pinball Studios.
We haven’t heard of any scheduled release but these new songs could well be tied to the follow up of Devastates. We’ll keep a keen eye out. Now head over to pinballsessions.com and listen to the Elfin Saddle session.
As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2012
- Elfin Saddle – The Changing Wind
- Gulp – Diamonds In The Sky
- CocoRosie – Tearz For Animals (Feat. Antony Hegarty)
[Touch And Go]
- Primus – Lee Van Cleef
[ATO Records / Prawn Song]
- Esmerine – Front End Loader
- Dan Deacon – Lots
- Animal Collective – Honeycomb
- Micachu & The Shapes – OK
- Family Fodder – The Onliest Thing
[The state51 Conspiracy]
- The Dead Science – Death Duel Productions
- Friends – Mind Control
[Lucky Number / Fat Possum]
- Siskiyou – Twigs And Stones
- Taraf De Haidouks – Tot Taraful
- Julia Holter – With Loue To Toune
[Sixteen Tambourines Records]
- Van Dyke Parks – The All Golden
Elfin Saddle‘s third full-length album Devastates came out a couple of months ago on Constellation Records. Back then, we posted the epic opening track ‘The Changing Wind’. Now the duo of Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie have released a video for the same track, featuring kaleidoscopic close-up shots of their recent installation work.
You can stream and order Devastates here.
In support of the new album, Elfin Saddle are starting a European tour on May 18th at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Check all other dates here.
Here’s the video for ‘The Changing Wind’, and just after it listen to ‘The Wind Come Carry’, the exquisitely gorgeous closing track. Enjoy!