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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Melbourne's Andy McGarvie Collaborates with Vocalist Sally Vanderzwart as Elle Bird

By Stuart Coupe.

Melbourne duo Elle Bird make sophisticated guitar pop with rootsy undertones. Conceived in partnership by vocalist Sally Vanderzwart and multi-instrumentalist Andy McGarvie, Elle Bird’s debut single ‘The Light’ is loaded with enough melody and compositional intrigue to draw in both layperson and aesthete.

Elle Bird’s influences range from Carole King and Beyonce to Vulfpeck’s Theo Katzman and Led Zeppelin, all of which are brought to bear on ‘The Light’. The song has evident rock potential and a peppering of harmonic complexity. First and foremost, however, it’s a melodic ear-worm.

“The key to any great song is always melody,” says Andy. “We're trying to write good melodies and simply support them harmonically with any stylistic influence.”

The Light’ is a case in point – Sally fills the track with hooks aplenty and a lyrical promise to lift up the downhearted.

Meanwhile, Andy’s chord progressions and deft arrangements are rooted in a desire to appeal to more musically literate audience members. “I think that we want to bring musicality back to pop music,” he says. “But we’re also confident that being clever and musical won’t stop the music from being enjoyable to the average listener.”

‘The Light’ is the first taste of a longer-form release from Elle Bird. As indicated by their varied influences – which also include Alanis Morrissette, The Beatles and John Mayer – no two Elle Bird songs sound the same.

“It’s all tied together through memorable melodies, storytelling lyrics and an interesting use of guitar sounds,” says Sally.

‘The Light’ is a persuasive complement to this claim, spotlighting Elle Bird as an exciting prospect for fans of pop music with an erudite backbone.


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