Indie trio Ellevator provides a balanced mix of bright pop and heavy lyrics on their debut album The Words You Spoke Still Move Me.
Although this is their first full-length record, the Hamilton-based group sounds fully developed. Their unique blend of indie pop synths, fuzzy electric guitar riffs, and vulnerable lyrical content, when paired with the entrancing vocals of lead singer Nabi Sue Bersche, holds listeners’ attention from start to finish.
Released just before they embarked on a month-long Canadian tour, the record manages to seamlessly combine the anthemic sounds of the 80s with more modern, early 2000s indie guitar tones. The result is a sound that breathes new life into nostalgia. The vocal melodies are consistently unique and dynamic, and while the lyrical subject matter is quite varied throughout the record, the songs still feel like a cohesive unit.
Much of the album acts as a reflection on spirituality. “Easy” tackles the loss of innocence that comes with outgrowing the beliefs of your upbringing over a trembling electric guitar, and “Charlie IO” uses hypnotizing synths to reflect on the challenge of finding one’s own beliefs through methods other than religion. However, there are many other themes explored through the band’s introspective lyricism as well.
“Claws” turns on the romance; its hazy electric piano, prominent bass, and soft, lilting vocals are a statement of desire and a declaration of one’s needs in a relationship. “Sacred Heart” features traditional Americana backbeats and heavy guitar tones that illustrate the tension and suffocation that comes with losing romantic feelings. “Slip” references mythological figures to express feelings of wanting to leave a relationship, transitioning from an 80s synth pop tune to a full progressive rock track and ending with a buzzing guitar solo.
While the record loses some of its power towards the end, with the latter songs showcasing the band’s softer side, the lyrical shift from suffocating power dynamics to the freedom of self-discovery manages to keep listeners captivated.
“Better” is a ballad of promises, sung in delicate but self-assured vocals. “The Prism” is a celebration of finally feeling safe and seen in a relationship where you’ve previously felt like a burden.
Whether your thing is lyrics or instrumentals, Ellevator delivers in all categories. The Words You Spoke Still Move Me is an honest, elevated indie pop album, and shows the immense future potential of this rising trio.