Analogies can be dangerous but when you have the will power, the musical talent, and the drive you can turn an analogy into a mission statement and a mission statement into a reason to survive. Elenora have faced the odds and now they’re waging war.
Having a burning question answered can either be satisfying or devastating (perhaps a little overstated, but nothing quite describes the feeling of finding out Santa isn’t real (sorry kids) or the answer isn’t want you expect). After fifteen minutes of heart palpitations and cold sweats – waiting for a call to connect can be a stressful business! – once it connects there’s one thing you absolutely have to know:
If a movie could describe your band which movie would it be?
Kurt Fields, Elenora’s guitarist and nominee for the interview, turns to his band mates and they spend a few moments discussing it.
The answer, says Fields, is “50/50.” A dark comedy (from the minds behind Superbad) about a man that has 50 per cent chance of surviving his cancer medication and a 50 per cent chance of it killing him.
“That’s like us,” says Fields, “there’s 50/50 chance that we’re going to make it or we’re not. So we’re going to do it.”
It’s a stark contrast. Cancer. Becoming famous. But one listen to the new album Luna Amante shows it’s clear that Elenora aren’t going to be resting on their laurels. For the band, it’s not a case of doomed if you do and doomed if you don’t. It’s about perspective and seeing that 50/50 chance as an opportunity for success and not of failure.
“We write a lot about staying positive,” Field says thoughtfully. “[We write about] following your dreams, we write about love and doing what you love and not caring about what other people think.”
That’s what the band want their listeners to take away from their music. But it’s clear that it’s as much for the band as it is for the people that discover them. Taking that 50/50 chance and focussing on the brighter side of succeed or fail.
“We write songs about our personal lives…and we write songs for people to connect to.” Everything they do is thought through and considered. Every song written for Luna Amante made it onto the record, 12 in total and all were worked and reworked until the band were happy.
The album was written and recorded over the four months the band were in the studio. It’s a snapshot of their lives and of their mission to broaden on their initial release (an EP titled Avante Grande).
“It was very in the moment and what we were feeling at the time…” Fields says, “it’s more mature and the songs are more structured (compared to Avante Grande). We’ve grown a lot as musicians over the past few years.”
The album is the brainchild of the band as a collective. Fields is explicit when he says writing isn’t about one or two band members dictating to the others.
“We have mutual ideas,” about how a song should or shouldn’t come out “we bounce off each other naturally and that slowly builds a song.”
The result is an album with a pop vibe colliding with break downs, screams and atmospheric moments that seem to come out of nowhere. They don’t have a quota for heavy songs but Fields does say that they do keep it in mind. But ultimately the song will dictate its own direction.
Much like the songs Elenora have dictated their direction. It’s clear to see, from the album alone, that the band are doing everything possible to increase their chances from 50/50 to a complete success rate.
Bone crunching riffs come together with a pop vibe and narrative writing style in Luna Amante. The end result is an album that runs a gauntlet of sounds and styles. “Simone” and “Lost in the Sea (Intimacy), Pt. II” are great examples of Elenora’s narrative style. Instead of songs explicitly about emotions, they wrapped them into short stories that span the length of the track. It’s not a concept album – the narrative style switches from song to song without being confusing (it’s very well done) – and there’s no overarching story.
“A Snake Will Say It Loves You” starts out atmospherically before it explodes into hell-raising screams. The cleans and screams on Luna Amante provide an incredibly stark contrast. They, quite literally, couldn’t be any further apart. It’s a dynamic that works ceaselessly well but comes with a warning: the clean vocals are Kellin Quinn-esque so if you’re not a fan it may take few listens to break Elenora in.
The band have put together a dynamic album. “I’m Trevor Collins, And These Are My Real Teeth” is testament to that. It’s a song with as much diversity as the album itself. There’s more than enough to this musically to still be interesting without the lyrics and vocal work which is also a huge plus.
Feature and review by Sebastian Mackay