Canister, the latest album from the San Francisco based band Elephone, would make for a perfect soundtrack to a film mired in poignancy, dark humor and self reference. From the kinetic opening track, “El Jefe”, to the whimsical, carnival infused closer, “It’s Forced”, the tracks serve up tragicomedy on an analog platter. The cinematic allusions are purposeful. Lead singer Ryan Lambert has a background in film and television and the album’s title is borrowed from the oft used- and referenced- film canisters.

While the band’s previous records featured Lambert as the sole vocalist, Canister introduces the feisty vocals of Sierra Frost. Instead of becoming bogged down in a sonic power play, the duo manages to trade off their predominance between- and sometimes within- each track. Lambert’s voice, often harkening the early ’90s lo-fi indie heyday, breaks through with force and urgency on “Eddie Izzard”. Frost’s shining moment comes in “As Seen on TV”, where she infuses the sweet opening lyrics with a slight exasperation that lifts it above the typical song of longing.

The atmospheric instrumentals are assisted by guitarist Terry Ashkinos and bassist Dan Settle. Ashkinos aptly compares Elephone’s style to a Wes Anderson film, saying “That’s what we try to do in music…Have these moments, these little crescendos of feeling.” If you should ever need inspiration for a slow motion walk to victory, a suspended underwater realization or for the moment you realize you’ve already passed your peak- this is an album to keep on hand.

Source by Elle Harmon