White Elephant Emporium – Blood Sweets

by Matt Hacke

Last time I saw White Elephant Emporium (Battle of the Bands 2014, Heat 1), I thought they were rather incredible, so consequently I was looking forward to getting round to reviewing their EP Blood Sweets, which you can listen to in full on their Soundcloud. Fortunately, the EP is just as good as their striking live show, emphatically displaying a satisfyingly unique sound that straddles Sleigh Bells, Kate Bush and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s impressive stuff.

A lot of the credit for the EP’s success should go down to vocalist Emily Pickthall. Obvious comparisons can and should be drawn to Kate Bush, and its near impossible not to be reminded of tracks such as James And The Cold Gun in the band’s Monster. The delivery throughout is well developed, and one gets the impression that Pickthall is hyper-conscious of the musicality of the vocal lines, rather than just going through the motions. Effortlessly fitting into the more- introspective moments in the EP such as Neighborhoods, as well as the distorted tumult of Lullaby, Pickthall’s contribution is highly accomplished.

Overall then, Blood Sweets is a strong release from local talent. The instrumentation is solid, all the more impressive considering Harrison Ward is credited playing all of them. Meanwhile, I appreciated the innovative mixing, especially the well-implemented vocal reverb and distortion – most notably in Monster, my overall pick from the EP. Pickthall and Ward must be congratulated for their well-written selection of tracks, and their niche sound, which sets them apart from the vast majority of acts on the local circuit. I recommend devoting some of your time to checking out White Elephant Emporium, whether it be this EP or their live performances. If they continue in this vein – I for one will be very excited.