Published Oct 29, 2015After a lengthy tour in support of Trouble Will Find Me, The National's Matt Berninger has teamed up with Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls as EL VY. Rhyming with "hell pie," the duo's songs retain Berninger's esoteric lyrical style, but the music has an understandably different slant to that of the National's.
Opening with the grooving title track, alternately titled "Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo," EL VY craft danceable guitar and smart bass lines. The rolling instrumentation and sharp lyrics of "I'm The Man To Be" stand out: "I'll be the one in the lobby in the collared 'fuck me' shirt (the green one)." "Need A Friend" features playful keys and a strong bass line, in addition to lyrics like "You were supposed to bring me your brother's weed […] This is heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking."
EL VY get a little more serious on "It's A Game" and "Sleepin' Light," the latter featuring Ural Thomas, driving drums and soothing vocals, its earnest chorus reaching out to an individual in need of support. "It's A Game" is downtempo and contemplative, Berninger singing to the character Didi. EL VY succeed in telling the stories of true characters on Return To The Moon, using inventive beats and fresh indie rock structures to make their tales connect. (4AD)