Hailing from Dublin, The Crayon Set provide the most exquisite brand of intelligently crafted alt folk rock songs touched with a delicate pastoral blush. Their new EP, entitled ‘Elvis Still Alive’ consist of three impossibly beautiful atmospheric tracks imbued with an air of delicate melancholy.
The Crayon Set recall bands such as Belle and Sebastian with their dual singing and intelligent pop sensibilities: a luscious feast for the brain and the ears.
The title track and the main single provides a tongue-in-cheek appraisal of conspiracy theories. Underpinned by a ghostly electronic thrum, it combines jangling guitars with soft strings and an ethereal drone in the distance. Above all, the band emanates a certain style and presence with their indelible melodies – a hypnotic circular melody that weaves in and out of the instrumentation.
The band says of the song:
Has Elvis really left the building? The song is about conspiracy theories – and how a conspiracy theory can often be more comforting than the truth or the reality of your situation.
This is a very apt theme for our current climes but the conspiracies and fact creation extends from the political to the personal as a lover refuses to believe he or she is no longer loved:
The ozone is fine
The sea won’t ever rise
Elvis is alive
And you are still mine
The following two tracks on the EP are re-releases of earlier singles wrapped up in this bundle as a ‘Christmas freebie’. ‘Love Is A Real Thing’ similarly charts obsessive love – weeping strings form a backdrop to the dual voices, seeped in a sense of yearning, regret and pain. It is statuesque and imperial – it breaks your heart with the raw expression.
‘Sunlounger’ is filled with a sense of whimsy, capturing a certain sense of languid indolence, a feeling of a hazy fugue in the afternoon sun contemplating the vicissitudes of life. The strings lull you into a state of hypnosis, the vocals have a certain innocence and yet there is still an ominous intangible dread somewhere in the firmament – that feeling you get under the influence of chemical substances where the bliss is underpinned by an awareness of a loss of control.
This is a dreamy and transfixing collection that mixes dream pop essence with an alt folk presence on a fascinating mix of the electronic and the acoustic, resulting in something that is hypnotic and ethereal.
‘Elvis Is Alive’ is out through the link above and everywhere on 24 January 2024 – see links here.
Feature Photograph: Killian Broderick