• David Bentley

Hey Elbow – Layers (track from recently released album)


Swedish dream-pop outfit Hey Elbow have shared a track, ‘Layers’, taken from their full-length album ‘We Three’ which is available now via Adrian Recordings.

The band members are Ellen Petterson (horns, electronics), Julia Ringdahl (vocals, guitar) and Liam Amner (drums) and they met through mutual friends, having played together previously in separate projects.


The trio formed in Malmö in 2013 with a view to an ‘egalitarian’ model for music-making, saying "We see Hey Elbow as a cooperative". "The rule is: every note has to be written together, when all three members are in the same physical space, with each party an equal driving force in its creation. No one person is the ‘band leader'. “


Nothing whatsoever to do with beer-swilling Guy Garvey, the band takes its name from an aerobics exercise they learned while waiting in the audience for a show by The Knife. They “reject the limitations of genre” and take inspiration from both music and art, pop and improvisational music.


The album was recorded in a house in southern Sweden, affording the band solitude and focus and every day began with rigorous exercise (eat your heart out, Guy).


I’m not familiar with much of their previous work but this is a complex track, merging dream-pop, psych, prog and even some underlying kraut rock rhythms with percussion very much to the fore along with a multitude of syncopated synths, some of which sound like horns. Or are they horns. Quite tasty.


I imagine the effect in a live show could be quite overwhelming. Speaking of which, while the future of live gigs is uncertain right now, as soon as they get the green light for touring again Hey Elbow promise they will do that. When touring the world with their first album, they “did their utmost to optimise their live set, working with musical and visual transitions with the goal of building a storyline.”


Bring it on.

Find them on Facebook. Or Instagram.


We will try and find time for a slightly more detailed 'Hey Elbow' album review in the next couple of weeks.

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