Sometimes there’s no way around putting something simply: If you’re going to do something - you better mean it. And Elle, mastermind behind the Los Angeles psychedelic rock band Elle Belle takes these words to heart. A multi-instrumentalist, Elle wrote and performed the songs entirely at his Los Feliz apartment in the throes of a nervous breakdown. The result is a mishmash of clever hooks, manic rhythms and idiosyncratic production that teems with the DIY spirit. Beneath the cacophony of sounds on his debut EP is a voice that could only come from someone hell bent on making noise.
The project started in summer of 2013 with Elle holed up in his apartment. “At the time my ‘studio' was this 4x7’ windowless closet that I had converted.” recalls Elle. “I was spending hours upon hours working on another project that was weighing heavy on me, and eventually I just snapped. I wasn’t eating or sleeping. Some days I didn’t see sunlight. I got to the point where I couldn’t even bring myself to play music - I was paralyzed.” It was then that he knew he needed to reset: “I put that other project away and just completely cleared my mind. I started writing new songs with no filter. I didn’t worry about them being perfect - I simply concerned myself with them being real.”
The songs that Elle wrote during this time became the core sound of a new project: Elle Belle. He recorded rough demos that were quickly shared enthusiastically among friends and other musicians. Talk of the project grew, so in turn Elle tapped Rob Barbato (Bleached / Cass McCombs/ The Soft Pack) to come on board and mix the tracks that would ultimately become his first EP. (Soon to be released)
“When starting this project, I cleared my mind of all notions of ‘what it was’” explains Elle, “I didn’t want an agenda - I was burnt out on agendas. I wanted freedom.” It’s this freedom that informs the fuzzy tones and stoner swagger of the music. From the orchestra-drenched ballad San Francisco’s (Gonna Take My Girl) to the frantic and cavernous New Wave Beats, each song places you in the middle of recklessness, hallucinations, and day-dreams as viewed through the eyes of a person living somewhere between a windowless room and the sun-soaked daze of California.