In their debut single, Elephant, Tales In The Shade gripe about the internet age. Thick, gritty, baselines and haunted synth textures create the perfect backdrop for Samantha Alland and Sam Griffiths to highlight each other’s vocals. The song plays like a rally cry for the frustrated, and calls to mind the identically-named Elephant by Tame Impala. It’s hard to say whether Tales In The Shade has drawn this connection on purpose, but they have very much captured that tasty, low-fi, drive that Tame Impala is known for. Sam and Samantha weave their voices together to create an air-tight top-line that drives the listener through the chorus. Full of rhythmic switches and trap doors, Elephant keeps the listener on their toes the entire three minutes and fifty four seconds.
Cardiff-based Tales In The Shade formed in 2018 and have since worked to craft a sound that expresses both light and dark. Just as their name suggests, the band’s songwriting draws inspiration from “the plot lines of films that don’t exist.”
Lyrically, Elephant is full of hidden gems. After the first chorus, the song reveals its secret weapon: rapped verses. Griffiths takes the mic and spins scenes from a vibrant story. “Spent countless years trying to get inside, only to be told it was all a lie,” he laments, carrying his worries with a glimmer of amusement in his voice. By the time the second chorus kicks in, the listener already wants to sing along. The song’s winning line, “So now I sit here on the wrong side of midnight,” is equal parts intriguing and poetic, tempting the listener on to find out more.
There is so much genre nuance in this song that it’s hard to place it in just one box. Dancing the line between hip hop and rock, Elephant promises something for everyone.
Color Code: Creamsicle
You can check out Elephant here: www.tiny.cc/ElephantSpotify