Listen to, and learn about, ELKO FIELDS' self-titled debut EP
The Brisbane-based rock duo aren't messing around.
Brisbane duo ELKO FIELDS are Kella Vee and Tomas Stephenson, and they're bringing a riff-heavy and raucous brand of rock'n'roll to the state of Queensland - one normally known for the surf-rock/grunge stylings of bands like DUNE RATS and Violent Soho. Following the release of their first single Cough It Up in July, they've unleashed their debut, self-titled EP, and its six tracks of balls-to-the-wall rock'n'roll for those who like their bones with a bit of meat on 'em.
Stream it below, read up on its creation with a track by track rundown underneath, and go see them live when they launch the EP at Frankie's Pizza in Sydney Wednesday 16 November, Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne Thursday 17, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, Friday 18 and Exeter Hotel, Adelaide Friday 25.
NEVER SLOW DOWN
This song is about entropy and the universe’s gradual decline into chaos and disorder… When we first began ELKO FIELDS, we were (and still are) pretty into reading about the cosmos and wanted to weave some of those thoughts into our music. Kinda like a “nerdy White Stripes” (in reverse, as interviewers like to point out). Pretty quickly we realised we are stargazers at best and should stick to murder ballads for now, so Never Slow Down is the only track on the record that isn’t about lechery or murder. The track itself features a really cool junk kit that Tom (drums) and Yanto (sound engineer) patched together from rusty buckets and old car parts that were hanging around the property.
The sad and violent tale of Delores is actually the first song we wrote as ELKO FIELDS. We were listening to a lot of Deap Vally, Death From Above 1979 and Eagle Twin at the time and just thought, 'If the guitar sound is ugly enough, we’ll only need three chords and it’ll sound dope.' So it all started with a very obnoxious guitar setup; every amp we owned, plus a few we borrowed, all cranked and hooked up to one guitar. It sounded horrific and the songs just started pouring out - emerging from the feedback like zombies from the fog.
Delores showed up as these big, open chords just ringing out and making the room shake, super satisfying. All that pressure and violence from one little white Stratocaster influenced the theme of the song. A woman, drunk on her own malice, convincing herself that she can get away with murder...
COUGH IT UP
The story behind Cough It Up has gotten away from us a little bit now. But it was inspired by an article we read a few years ago - something along the lines of a wealthy businessman who was sued by his mistress. Apparently, he didn’t come good on his promise to fund her children’s private school and university fees and she wasn’t having a bar of it, so took him to court and won. We can’t remember all the details, but we remember enjoying the abject sweetness of the whole thing. We love a good female-male vocal to-and-fro and wanted to ride that intensity throughout the song. We had this impossibly sludgy, fuzzed-out chord progression and few tempo shifts that made it sound a little bit nauseating
Just before the opportunity to make this record came about, we were lucky enough to be travelling and booking our first handful of shows. We were still ironing out the creases in our set and there was lots of angst around taking songs that have been born and raised in our garage and thrusting them into the streets. But the adrenaline was very addictive, and we wrote Play Straight with this in mind.
The thought behind Tilted Sally was to flesh out the murder going on in Delores with a bit of carnal desire. We liked the idea of adding an alter-ego and thought “tilted” was just a great way of describing something, especially a person.
DELORES PT. II
This song more or less speaks for itself. We’ve been labelled as a “cut-the-bullshit” rock band and Delores Pt. II intends to do just that. The minimal and calm delivery of the confession is one of our favourite moments in our live set. Super intimate and a maybe just a little uncomfortable. And then we get to open up into the most weighty and abrasive piece of the whole record. It’s cathartic and probably a good indication of where we’re taking ELKO next.