The sweet pop and rock songs of the Psychedelic Era will always see modern iterations.
There’s no shortage of artists over recent years who’ve captured this sound, like bottling up a piece of the past to put their own spin on it. Now Elephant Castle, the project masterminded by Phil Danyew, is making his imprint in this cherished genre.
Born in San Diego, Danyew grew up listening to artists like The Beach Boys and The Beatles to name a few of the heavy hitters. His father’s tape machine was filled with many other artists that would eventually shape and inspire his musical endeavors.
In late 2013, he was fortunate enough to join Foster the People as a touring musician. His time spent with the band further sharpened his chops, and in the beginning of 2020, he set out to pursue a solo career.
In March of 2020, Danyew released his first single, “Cool to Be Unhappy“. The song would go on to gain critical praise, including a “Song You Need To Know” feature from the granddaddy of them all in Rolling Stone. Since then, he has released nine more singles, all of which have put the psych songwriter firmly on the map.
His newest single, “Quicksand”, which was released January 7th, follows the dreamy psychedelic bliss he’s been crafting with his sound throughout his career.
What’s really striking with this song is how quickly it draws you in, despite the slow sinking nature the title suggests. It has the feeling of slowly floating above a beach like a kite, while seeing the waves crash beneath you. Using quicksand as a metaphor, Danyew sings about the conflicted feelings within a relationship. The chorus lyrics, “You’re quicksand / You’re in my head / I try to move on / But I’m stuck to the spot / You’re quicksand,” delivers this message in a most serene way. Every piece comes together for a beautiful track with very much a summer feel.
Another great entry in the 21st Century psychedelic revival, Elephant Castle is a project that’s sure to catch on with indie psych-rock lovers far and wide. We’ll be eager to see where he goes after “Quicksand.”