If you could possibly imagine Madonna ever fronting New Order then Elika’s 2008 album ‘Trying Got Us Nowhere’ may well have been the result. Based on the crystal clear vocals and keyboard playing of Evageila Maravelias and the skills of multi-instrumentalist Brian Wenckebach, their album turned out to be one of the finest of the year. Despite the follow-up EP lasting a mere thirteen minutes, the duo retain their ability to excite.
That said, ‘There Was No Summer’ is a whole lot different to its predecessor and ‘Already Know’ is an odd way to start an EP. For the first minute there’s just Maravelias accompanied by acoustic guitar and rainfall effects. Then the song goes even weirder as her vocals are distorted. To follow, ‘Analog Alpha’ features what sounds like a distorted child’s voice trapped in a futuristic underwater prison.
‘Death & Avalanches’, arguably the most conventional moment on the album, recalls a modernised Mamas And The Papas (quite a feat considering there is just one singer) whilst ‘You Win Hearts’ is beat-heavy but also has its decidedly strange moments of childlike mystery. Finally, ‘Catalan’ is a dreamy ambient instrumental which drifts along at glacial pace.
‘There Was No Summer’ could have cheekily been called ‘There Were No Songs’ since there’s little evidence of the alternative pop from their last album. Yet this a brief but fascinating journey into the experimental interests of Elika and one which is curiously attractive.
Madonna, Boards Of Canada