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Elder Bio 2017
Beginning in a small town in coastal Massachusetts by three long time friends, Elder started making rumblings in the stoner rock and doom scene with their first releases Elder and Dead Roots Stirring in 2008 and 2010. Relentless touring and increasing disillusion with the gimmicks and lack of creativity plaguing the heavy rock underground spurned the trio on to expand their sound, bringing in more psychedelic and progressive elements to their music. 2015's Lore was a pivotal moment in the band's orbit, receiving praise from the stoner/doom audience as well as reaching listeners outside an often insular scene, thanks to an unwillingness to adhere to genre limitations or cliches. During a period of incessant touring following Lore and full of inspiration from their travels, the band holed up for periods of intense songwriting over breaks to produce their most inspired and adventurous music of their now ten year career.
Reflections of a Floating World is Elder's fourth full length album and second LP released via Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US). Long, undulating and dense tracks float between psychedelic passages and progressive rock without missing a beat; adventurous and unpredictable songs are punctuated by hypnotic jams, all colored by the tendency toward melody and dynamism that has become the band's hallmark. In keeping with their motto of expanding and expanding upon their repertoire, guest musicians Mike Risberg and Michael Samos joined the core three in the studio to add extra guitar, keys and pedal steel, adding vibrancy and lushness to the album. In all regards, Reflections shows a band with a clear vision honing their skills with every year.
Elder will be presenting their new album on a European tour in July/August 2017 and in the US in the fall. As another first, Mike Risberg will be accompanying the trio on the upcoming tours, bringing his experimental guitar and keyboard playing to further enhance the live experience, and once again visual artist Adrian Dexter will be live animating the shows with his trademark psychedelic visuals.
The story behind the Floating World…
Each Elder release has had a strong theme tying it together musically, conceptually and aesthetically, and the newest release from the trio-turned-quartet is true to form in this regard. While it remains a constant point of mention that the group's sound has shifted or evolved in the band's now 10 year existence, this seems hardly remarkable to the band; their main sources of inspiration lie in life experiences and our world itself, both musical and a-musical. In the years following the release of Lore and the extensive touring that ensued, life became a blur of constant touring, flights, opportunities and stress, friendships and broken relationships – put shortly, the trials and tribulations of a band playing music for a living and living to play. It is during these years that the lyrical content for the new album took form, from introspection about what it means to live life on your own terms, to refuse to cave to societal and peer pressure and carve your own path. The term “the floating world” comes from a particular period in Japanese society which is associated with a flourishing of the arts, but also a self-destructively decadent lifestyle. Our own “floating world” is the one we inhabit today – filled with greed, sadistically capitalist and relentlessly hedonistic – and the album's songs are the band's own “reflections” of it. In traditional Elder fashion, however, nothing is one-sided: the songs portray the tragedy of a meaningless and shallow existence, but also celebrate hope in an almost anarchic, self-determined life.