Single: Elephant Stone - 'Manipulator'



Elephant Stone share their latest single 'Manipulator' taken  from their soon to be released fourth album, 'Ship of Fools'.
It's more sunny than usual around this time of the year in the UK and to corroborate that vibe, psych music has become a little more acceptable with the masses. Tame Impala are very much the flagship band of that subtle movement, which has allowed other bands of a similar vibe to become a little more prominent - with varying degrees of success. One such song which seems to have cascaded along from that is 'Manipulator' by Elephant Stone. It has all the fundamentals of a good song: catchy as Hell, a jaunty vibe, vocals that are easy to digest and a great chorus.

My understanding is that this track is supposed to be a bit of a social commentary type of song, but that isn't what I like about it or a noticeably prevailing feature of it at all. "I can tell what you're doing, you know you're nothing but a middle man" is an example of one of the lines here, which seemed to be purposely aimed shots of truculence toward someone. There's no allegory or flowing prose here; that would spoil the track entirely though. As typical as it may be, the chorus really makes the song what it is. It has that great 90's feel to it, the one where it has an infectious singalong hook but isn't just 'pop music by numbers'. Musically, it is quite dense but doesn't feel overly bloated with music as these sort of tracks sometimes do.

Simplicity is key here, too often music that branches into psychedelic areas can become convoluted and tellingly difficult to listen to. That hasn't happened here though, Elephant Stone have given us a song which doesn't have anything to dislike about it whilst being able to retain enough character that remains enjoyable. It's fun - though serious lyrically - and will slide right into your "songs to drive to when chicks are in the car and I'm wearing my 3 quid knock off sunglasses" playlist just fine.

Words of Jake Collins

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