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Photography: Mike Manewitz ( Instagram )
Words: Trish Connelly ( Instagram )

 

Spanning a two decade plus music career, Athens’ Elf Power has continued to bubble along the indie-rock surface and have since carved out their own niche. A significant player in Elephant 6 Collective (which includes the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel and Of Montreal) the band’s initial lo-fi quality gained them notoriety while their more recent albums have explored a broader musical map of genres and melodic standouts. Elf Power took the stage last Friday night at Austin’s downtown music venue Barracuda for the latter part of their U.S. tour to a gradually bustling crowd. Playing roughly half their tracks off their latest release, Twitching in Time, the quartet delved new sonic territory with upbeat selections like “Ten Dollars on the Ground” and “Sniper in the Balcony” interspersed with haunting tracks “Halloween out Walking” and folky ballads “The Cat Trapped In the Wall” (which was inspired by Rieger’s own cat trapped in his dwelling’s barricades for three days in 1985). The band’s earlier song choices were met with enthusiastic cheers from the audience, reaching back to 1997 with “The Secret Ocean” off When the Red King Comes and “Temporary Arm” from 1999’s Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs. True to their nature of their lo-fi aesthetic and quality over quantity, Elf Power’s no frills live performance delivered both familiarity and textural explorations during their hour long set. Pulling out Robyn Hitchcock/The Soft Boys’ cover “I Wanna Destroy You” from their repertoire  before closing their performance with “Everlasting Scream”, Elf Power proved they have still stayed true to their roots without ever easing into the bland.

 

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