Elephant And Castle: Fading And Reincarnating In "En Memoria," tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus helps turn a calypso stroll into dim twilight wandering.
NPR logo

'En Memoria' by Elephant and Castle

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149248709/149226741" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Elephant And Castle: Fading And Reincarnating

Review

Elephant And Castle: Fading And Reincarnating

'En Memoria' by Elephant and Castle

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149248709/149226741" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In Elephant and Castle's "En Memoria," a delicate calypso stroll turns into a dim twilight wandering. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of the artist

In Elephant and Castle's "En Memoria," a delicate calypso stroll turns into a dim twilight wandering.

Courtesy of the artist

Monday's Pick

Song: "En Memoria"

Artist: Elephant and Castle

CD: Transitions

Genre: Electronic

"En Memoria" actually starts off sounding more like a tUnE-yArDs song than the work of anyone else. Home-recorded vocal snippets abound, hinting at her earlier work on BiRd-BrAiNs. But as the instrumentation kicks in, longtime fans will recognize that this is not a Merrill Garbus production. Her vocals anchor the melody, but the song was composed by a fellow Oakland, Calif., experimenter: David Reep, a.k.a. Elephant and Castle.

In the way that much electronic music unfolds, "En Memoria" doesn't offer the conventional beginning-middle-end structure that's definitive of 20th-century song — instead, the tune builds, fades and reincarnates, its undeniable Disney-like qualities betraying its eventual effect. A delicate calypso stroll turns into a dim twilight wandering and, like the best children's animation, the song's pleasant ramblings overlay a hazily sinister paralanguage. The result is just one of many texturally rich, deceptively ambient, perfectly fine-tuned electronic cuts from Transitions, Reep's stunning debut.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Transitions
Artist
Elephant & Castle
Label
Plug Research
Released
2012

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?