The Last Mixed Tape reviews Hypergiant, the debut full-length studio album from Dundalk-based songwriter Elephant.
Repeated listens to Hypergiant bring hidden depths to light. The first time round I fixated on the background, loving the changing scope of it. On the second time round I fixated on the song’s themselves, loving the musicality and vivid stylishness of the record. Nothing about Elephant’s debut outing feels out of place.
What’s more, Hypergiant is an epic journey. The album is pushed forward by the songwriter’s sheer will alone, felt through every dynamic lift and hushed interlude (see: ‘Drown My Feet’). Blood, sweat and tears seem to be at the heart of the record’s creation.
Through songs like ‘The Lightning and the Breeze’ and ‘Little Ghost’ we run a whirlwind of emotions. Reflective one moment then big and forceful the next, Elephant seems to find the bridge between a myriad of genre styles to form a sound that fits perfectly into the spacious production of Hypergiant.
However, the lasting impression is left by Elephant’s voice. The glue that ties the entire album together, his vocal range coupled with his ability to weave and wrap feeling around each lyric is simply stunning, ensuring the album never feels like it’s over-reaching on its own sense of scope. This is music grounded in emotion and given shape by atmosphere.
As natural and honest an album as we’re likely to hear this year, Hypergiant is the result of artistic expression and time. An album that hits home on an emotional level, while also giving us the room the re-interpret the meaning of it all for our own ends, Elephant’s debut is something very special indeed.
Hypergiant by Elephant is out now.