Elephant – Irish Band Of The Week

Elephant - Irish Band Of The Week

This week’s Irish Band of the Week is Elephant, a curious musical development hailing from Dundalk. Development seems a more appropriate word than band due to the wonderful adaptive nature of multi-instrumentalist Shane Clarke’s brainchild. Elephant has three forms which, essentially, plays the same set but with three bespoke musical and vocal arrangements which undoubtedly makes for intriguing live shows and performances.

Elephant’s three forms are as follows: front man, Shane Clarke, performing as a soloist on stage with the aid of pedals to loop specific effects, creating a multi-faceted performance on his own. It also comes as a duo, offering a more richly-layered performance, filled with acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer, and wrought with hauntingly beautiful melodies and harmonies. The third, and more notable form, is a full band. Elephant as a band is, arguably, the most dynamic incarnation. It carries a lot of energy, giving Elephant’s debut album a little ‘oomph’ with the band themselves describing it as ‘a little louder than what Elephant listeners might be used to while still retaining the nuance and intimacy of the solo or duo set.’

Folk, not unlike Badly Drawn Boy but with more elegant and deliberate undertones also present, á la Justin Vernon or Broken Social Scene. Naturally, this and the earnest, unassuming vocal performances have earned Elephant considerable renown, securing a slot with Martha Wainwright, on the Other Voices trail in Dingle and 2015 performances at most of the country’s top festivals including Electric Picnic and Body & Soul.

With one album, the critically received HyperGiant, under its belt and another one expected to follow this summer, 2017 will be a big year for Elephant.

Check out the wonderful track ‘Little Ghost’ to get a taste of what the band are about.


Elaine McDonald

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