EL VY Proves to Be More Than Just a Side Project, with Debut Release, “Return to the Moon”

el vy

The much buzzed about EL VY creates an inspiring album, Return to the Moon, out now via 4AD. Consisting mainly of Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls/Menomena, what the duo creates is something honest, heartfelt, and truly unique.

Like when all high profiled musicians break off from their main band, there seems to be a bit of a back and forth skeptical reaction that travels throughout the internet. I believe it was in Pitchfork that I had read a blurb stating that Berninger and Knopf were “incompatible” as musicians. To be honest, yes, they kind of are incompatible as musicians; but on the bright side, that is exactly what makes this combination work well.

The first two singles shined light on the blending of two parties; first with “Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)” and the follow up “I’m the Man to Be.” The first singles were definitely a departure from Berninger’s deep and heavy sounds of The National, but it allowed us to see a more upbeat version of what he has to offer. Knopf on the other hand, brings a stunning element of instrumentation to the table that sometimes provides a lively vibe, and other times, a haunting and unusual sound. The mixture of these elements seem to work completely, as they weave throughout each track of the record.

The biggest misconception that a listener can have going into this, is that it’s going to sound like a “National” record. It’s not. Then Berninger would just be working on National songs right now (Right? Right.). What would be the point? The voice is there, but the content isn’t always as heavy. You’re going to dance, you’re still going to get depressed as hell, and you are going to love every moment of it.

Releasing a series of lyric videos directed by the multi-talented Tom Berninger, it provides multiple songs with an intimate look to capture your attention even more. Tracks such as “Happiness Missouri” bring a haunting, yet determined sound into play, while harmonies fill the album in pieces such as “Silent Ivy Hotel,” or the chilling musicianship of “Paul is Alive.” Songs such as “No Time to Crank the Sun,” offers up Matt’s signature delicate crooning, as “Need a Friend,” shares a more vibrant sound, that brings Knopf’s intricate brand of musicianship to the table. Together they create a truly special musical experience within Return to the Moon.

Each piece on the record is strong enough to stand on their own, which is perhaps why the group decided to release a track one at a time leading into the record. Return to the Moon is perhaps the finest record of 2015; mark my word.

EL VY is currently on tour, recently kicking off their Eastern U.S. dates, with two stops in New York. Friday at Bowery Ballroom, and Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. See you there kids.

The New Pornographers to Tour with The Walkmen


Some bands were just meant to be together. The New Pornographers and The Walkmen have just announced that they will be embarking on 7 date tour with each other before and after heading their different directions. For the solo NP dates, Menomena are set to open. Check out all of the tour dates below. Sorry kids, this is a mid western tour only. Dry your tears.

The New Pornographers / The Walkmen:

04-22 Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue
04-23 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
04-25 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
04-26 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
04-27 Iowa City, IA – University of Iowa
04-28 Champagne, IL – Canopy Club
04-29 Columbia, MO – Blue Note

The New Pornographers:

04-13 Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre *
04-14 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre *
04-15 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre *
04-16 Indio, CA – Coachella Music Festival
04-17 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
04-18 San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom *

* with Menomena

The Walkmen:

03-02 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s
03-03 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
03-04 Austin, TX – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
03-05 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
05-18 Istanbul, Turkey – Babylon Club
05-20 Paris, France – Alhambra
05-22 Brussels, Belgium – Cirque Royal
05-23 Nimejan, Netherlands – Doornroosje
05-24 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
05-28 Zurich, Switzerland – Mascotte
05-27 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Festival

New York City’s Weekend Show Round Up

Saturday – October 2nd

Menomena, Suckers, Tu Fawning @ Webster Hall

Radio Happy House With Born Ruffians @ (le) poisson rouge

Born Ruffians, Winter Gloves, First Rate People @ Bowery Ballroom

Mirah, Tami Hart @ Bruar Falls

Efterklang, Inlets, Xylos, Nonviolence @ Glasslands

Foals, Girl in a Coma @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Van Dyke Parks, Clare & the Reasons @ The Bell House

The xx, Warpaint, Zola Jesus @ United Palace Theater

Sunday – October 3rd

Gayngs, Glasser @ Bowery Ballroom

Casiokids, Brahms, Bikini, VonChina @ Glasslands

Motel Motel, Zambri, Shilpa Ray, ArpLine @ The Rock Shop

New York City’s Weekly Show Round Up

Monday – September 27th

Teenage Fanclub, Radar Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom

Regina Spektor, Jenny Owen Jones, Jupiter One &  more @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Beach Fossils, Grass Widow, Oberhofer, Ovens @ Old Firehouse

M.I.A., Rye Rye @ Terminal 5

The Tallest Man on Earth, S. Carey @ Webster Hall

 

Tuesday – September 28th

Black Heart Procession, Bing & Ruth, Amen Dunes @ (le) poisson rouge

Deerhunter @ Apple Store Soho

Teenage Fanclub, The Clean, Radar Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom

Shonen Knife, Hard Nips, Grooms @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn

Dead Confederate, Mt. St. HelensVietnam Band, Submarine Bells, New Beard @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

 

Wednesday – September 29th

Best Coast, Male Bonding, Small Black @ Bowery Ballroom

Golden Ages, Dinosaur Feathers,  Post Post @ Death By Audio

Sundelles, Bottle Up & Go, Shark? @ Glasslands

Juliana & Evan (Hatfield & Dando), The Shining Twins @ Mercury Lounge

Margot and The Nuclear So & So’s, The Lonely Forest, Cameron McGill @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Shy Child, Your Youth, The Stationary Set, Dead Stars, ARMS Dj Set @ Piano’s

The Gay Blades, Chappo, Data Dog @ The Studio at Webster Hall

Rogue Wave, Midlake, Peter Wolf Crier @ Webster Hall

 

Thursday – September 30th

Sport of Kings, Miracles of Modern Science, Gunfight, Infinity Hotel @ Coco66

Film School, The Depreciation Guild, Home Video, Bronze @ Glasslands

Sonny and the Sunsets, Kelley Stoltz (early show) @ Mercury Lounge

Juliana & Evan (Hatfield & Dando), Candles (late show) @ Mercury Lounge

Best Coast, Male Bonding, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub @ Williamsburg Waterfront

 

Friday – October 1st

Foals, Esben And The Witch @ Bowery Ballroom

I’m Turning Into, Gunfight, Miniboone @ Don Pedro

Born Ruffians, Winter Gloves, First Rate People @ Knitting Factory Brooklyn

Film School, The Depreciation Guild @ Mercury Lounge

The Temper Trap, Delphic, Hundred In The Hands @ Terminal 5

NinjaSonik, Oxymorons, Cody B. Ware @ The Studio at Webster Hall

Sonny and the Sunsets, Kelley Stoltz @ Union Hall

Menomena, Suckers, Tu Fawning @ Webster Hall