There’s something wonderfully skittish and simultaneously unnerving about the rhythm arrangement in this song, that suggests Tim Burton-esque circus characters delivering wild, whirling, passionate performances – against their will… But that’s just what it inspires in me!
Thanks to the choice of wonderfully organic instrumentation, Elska is a little reminiscent of the little-known (but great) Scottish band My Friend the Chocolate Cake.
What My Octopus Mind has constructed here is something of an epic – the live strings, the rattling scatter-gun snare and push-me-pull-you-5-minute-plus arrangement take the listener on a fascinating sonic journey.
The vocal melodies are searching, haunting and yet also attention-retaining and varied, with harmonic choices of backing vocal that are a bit Thom Yorke, but without being derivative. They don’t sound anything other than authentic and passionate and individual.
We tip-toe hurriedly through pizzicato flourishes, the snare snapping playfully at our heels as the vocals are put through different treatments that change their character here and there, while the strings saw at some moments and sustain at others. But the vocals aren’t the only instruments whose states are changed: the drum kit is thoroughly exploited in all its colours. It’s absolutely sharing the spotlight here. Upright bass and tasteful guitar offer sterling support.
It’s a dizzying and somewhat psychedelic experience, building to a schizophrenic whirlwind of deliberate dissonance and beauty that’s mashed together before being led to a marching string finale. This then becomes supremely syncopated, then wistful, then beautiful, before grinding, inexorably, to a reverb-heavy halt.
It’s a singular listening experience that I‘d whole-heartedly recommend, with an extraordinary accompanying video that provides a complementary, slightly unnerving experience. Try both!