Elen Never Sleeps: “Open Air Dance”
First off, Elen Never Sleeps’ new EP Open Air Dance doesn’t constitute a major change in musical style. The Tokyo artist still records lovelorn pop out of his bedroom, and apart from the incorporation of some more traditional song structures, his latest four-song offering not radically different from this past January’s “My Aquamarine/Spinning Wheel” release. Yet, Open Air Dance sounds livelier, more appropriate for the summer months and the outside world rather than just being confined to the indoors. This comes across most clearly on the title track, where Elen Never Sleep’s interlocking guitars are joined by a pounding drum machine beat that’s crisper than any he’s used before. The additional percussion that’s introduce late in the song adds to the festive feel and even the lyrics sound more upbeat, with lines like “it feels like I’m floating” sounding joyful contrasting with the usual wistful ennui. The rest of the album features more typically bedroom-friendly tracks, like the hazy indie-pop of “The Sweetest Thing” and the galloping “Drumming Gemini,” but each sounds more confident than on earlier Elen Never Sleeps’ works.
Open Air Dance is available on Bandcamp
Written by Patrick St. Michel