This is Blue Chips
; a new monthly series dedicated to targeting artists we think offer some of the most sought after new music out there. After all, we're always scouting, eyes and ears constantly perked, sifting through the hordes of talent, identifying and brining the most exciting musical "recruits" to the platform. Every freakin' day is like an indie rock combine in our inbox. Blue Chips
is our little way of singling out some of the most exciting new bands on the scene.
For our inaugural profile we sat down at the piano with Ben Elkins; leader of lo-fi, Nashville party outfit, ELEL. The band first caught our attention in January with "40 Watt"
, via a Mike Birbiglia hosted, KEXP podcast. The song was instantly lovable; a big old beat, some bright and sugary sweet instrumentation, and a fresh vocal hook that will follow you around for days. Since then, the band have released their self-titled debut EP
on Mom + Pop Records.
In Part Two Elkins focuses on the floorboard rumbling single "40 Watt" as well as that interesting name of theirs. Check out Part One HERE
But it actually comes from two names, my wife's name is Eliska Elkins.
She has introduced me to all kinds of stuff that's been hugely influential.
I just grew up listening to the Top 40 strictly, whatever the radio was feeding me.
She's pretty much what inspired this music.
So I thought, I should name the band after her.
Sparks were flying and all the rest couldn't keep heart in chest.
Now here who would have guessed? The 40-Watt light bulb.
If we turn it on and off, and on and off and on, and off and on.
- It's a really intimate song lyrically.
It came from when I first met the girl who's now my wife.
We would dance all the time together.
We would go to places Nashville to dance parties and stuff.
But also sometimes, we were just dancing in our living room.
We were both at very, very low financial periods in our life.
So just the idea of making your own dance party and not paying for a club or whatever, just doing your own thing in your own living room.
Turning the light off and on to make it disco-ish.
That's what the vibe is.
We have a really, really fun time performing these songs together and that tends to spread to whoever is listening to it.
I just hope if people come to an ELEL show, they just leave happy.
It's a real joy to be able to all be in a room together as a group, an audience and a band, and to feel like other people are benefiting from that.
It's an amazing thing that we get to be a part of.
Hey, this is Ben from ELEL music.
You're watching Baeble Music.
Wait, I said ELEL music.
Hey, this is Ben from ELEL.
You're watching Baeble Music.
Nashville 8-piece ELEL had a big summer. Their debut track " 40 Watt", an effervescent blast of feel good indie pop, drew comparisons to the likes of Vampire Weekend and MGMT, winning over a slew of blogs and affording them the opportunity to perform at Bonnaroo Festival. The band are set to release their debut album 'Geode' early next year on Mom+Pop.
ELEL, consisting of two horns, two drums, three keys ,guitar, bass and whole lot of vocals, was born from front man Ben Elkins meeting a girl named Eliska. Ben's now wife softened his edges while introducing him to the likes of Beach House and Toro Y Moi. Speaking on ELEL, Ben says " It's the outcome of me producing music that risks leaving space and communicates emotion easily and softly. This band represents a new start for its members, for a variety of reasons. Tied together by the bustling Nashville music scene but from an array of locations, ELEL includes Ben (Arkansas), Zach (Kentucky), Tim (Mississippi), Jo Jo (Queens, NY), Alex (Pennsylvania), and life-long Nashvillians (so far) Fredrick, Jerry and Stefan. According to Ben, "40 Watt is a big loud dance song about dancing with one other person in a little bitty house.' We have more exciting news very soon.