Photo by Bowen Stead and Daniel Barkley
Last year, Montreal’s Elephant Stone introduced itself to the wider world with its self-titled second album and a who’s who of collaborators and tour partners: Beck, Black Angels, and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Elephant Stone reflected a love of ’60s psychedelia, buoyed by frontman Rishi Dhir’s plaintive voice and expressive sitar playing. But in the midst of touring, Dhir reconnected with music a little closer to his own youth. His brother-in-law offered up a box used vinyl containing a new generation of psych rockers, including the Stone Roses and Spaceman 3, plus some more dance-influenced acts like New Order and Happy Mondays.
Months later, these sounds started seeping into Elephant Stone’s new songs. “The grooves were groovier, the sonics rumbled heavier, and the songs were connecting to something bigger,” asserts Dhir, and it’s hard to argue with him. On August 26 comes album number three, ominously-titled The Three Poisons. The sterling “Knock You From Yr Mountain” is less mind-expanding and more hip-shaking, riding a tough-edged beat while guest vocalist Malika Tirolien provides a wordless performance a la Clare Torry in Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig In The Sky.” With “Mountain” and The Three Poisons, Elephant Stone achieves a sonic signature all their own.