Backseat Mafia couldn’t be more pleased to premiere the extraordinary single ‘wabi sabi’ from Brisbane’s Elder: a song that is so innovative and exciting and quite mesmerising. It heralds the beginning of another stunning year from the stable of 4000 Records.

With crystal sharp splashes of guitars, drums and bass, the song is alike a stream of waves rolling into a sandy bay. The angelic vocals creates a contrapuntal edginess – I cannot help but liken the vocals to early Bjork in her Sugar Cubes phase: evocative, almost animalistic and very expressive. The most extraordinary thing is that this is the voice of a male – singer guitarist Matt Burton. According to Burton:

We love to perform and evoke deep feelings related to our spaces and environment and hope that others feel similarly listening to us.

I hesitate to use the ‘J’ word in any review: but there is an almost freeform feel to the instrumentation. As soon as the vocals come in, this recedes before washing right back in. It feels like a dream-like journey, it feels like a musical encapsulation of nature: cleansing water and fresh air. Great production and a quite extraordinarily beautiful song:

The single is released on 7 January 2020 through the magnificent 4000 Records and you can stream/download here. John Russell, the maestro behind 4000 Records says:

I am so excited to help get (this single) out into the world, their self-recorded debut EP ‘Cyril’ was received so incredibly well and now that the guys have taken the next step and recorded professionally, they’ve added a further layer of magic to an already extraordinary sound.”

Exciting stuff indeed. wabi sabi will be launched on 10 January 2020 at The Station in Brisbane: full details available here.

In addition, Elder are supporting another one of our favourite musicians, Chakra Efendi on 16 January 2020 as well as playing at Brisbane’s Nine Lives Festival along with the brilliant Aldous Harding and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

The single follows the release of “The Commute” in December 2019, one that sadly slipped past me but is just as ridiculously good. The two singles show contrasting aspects of Elder’s potent sound and the band’s dynamic range – ‘The Commute’ projects a more shoegaze wall of sound while ‘wabi sabi’ elicits a slightly more restrained and smoother tone. Both are extraordinary, and Burton’s voice is a phenomenon. Elder is a slow burning fuse that is about to explode.

Elder is a three-piece consisting of Burton, Henry Reese on bass and backing vocals and Talia Bond on drums. Watch out for their full album this year. You’ll be hearing a lot more from Elder.