Fairly Affable Indie
Names are ultimately loaded. Not convinced? How many people do you know called Adolf that were born after 1945? Therefore naming songs after people has its disadvantages due to the personal associations we bring with them, for better or, quite frequently, for worse. ‘Mandy’ by Barry Manilow is not just a longing ballad about the pain of lost love, but reminds you of that pursed-lipped, perma-tanned cow-bag who works in the corner of your office who spends her days idly gossiping and not much else. ‘Daniel’ is not just of the name of Natasha Khan’s childhood crush, but of a classmate from your primary school who smelt inexplicably of onions and farts.
But where does this leave the English/Norwegian five piece Absent Elk?
Sounding not too dissimilar to Hot Hot Heat, ‘Emily’ may be a fairly affable indie pop song, but it lacks a little musically. With no real stand out lyrics or hooks, it doesn’t have an immediate unabashed likability to detract from the negative associations of the name. With a couple of repeated listens it fares slightly better, with its gentle chug of guitars and sing-along chorus, but those splashes of HHH ensure its hardly the most original thing to be released so far this year.