Amor Elefante - Amor Elefante

Amor Elefante, Amor Elefante
Independiente, Argentina
Rating: 76
by Pierre Lestruhaut
There’s not much you can say about a band like Amor Elefante in terms of their background. A quick search will have you confronting a scarcity of information on their social network profiles, a few amateurishly shot live performances from a year ago on YouTube, and a couple of blog interviews where they seem to dismiss the usual boring questions with goofy and ironic answers. Which is why, just like it happens with a lot of stuff we review on CF, we’re left with the impossibility of building a write-up from the detritus of online criticism and blog posts. So, instead, we must figure out our own superlatives and references from whatever it is we were downloading last month.

Amor Elefante is not the type of band that makes this task particularly easy, although upon first listens you can tell that they're the sort of act that effectively assembles guitars, horns, and pop melody in a way that could fall somewhere between Tender Trap without the obvious C86 roots, The Lodger without the bittersweet anxiety issues, Carmen Sandiego without the witty remarks and sonic experimentation, or Aias without the lo-fi aesthetics. In other words, they sound just like most of your favorite recent indie pop acts stripped down to their rawest elements (i.e. sweet pop melodies), holding onto kid aesthetics as a solid groundwork that’s filtered through enough DIY, self-awareness, and playful naive musical sensibilities to the point that we can’t really figure out how much of an inside joke their self-proclaimed Xuxa influence really is, though the feeling most of their songs transmit is that very same whimsical indifference they display in their interviews.

Singing cheerfully along playful melodies about savoring the banality of life (“Hola” is pretty much about being invited to a party, and “Hoy es hermoso” is exactly what its title suggests it is), yet sounding even more joyful when they let cheery horns and wordless hooks attract all of the attention (“Fue Perfecta” and “Merienda Mucho”), while also being able to display a more passive approach to their songwriting as seen through their couple of piano pop ballads (“Desayuno un poco” and “Dejémoslo”). The album really makes a case for most lighthearted record of 2011, mainly because Amor Elefante have decided to simply shoo away all wistfulness and apprehension Stuart Murdoch might have ever given to indie pop, instead going for a very straightforward twee record that will make you love all the mundanities of life just as much as you love good infectious pop melodies.