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Album Premiere: Elephant – 88

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We’re pleased to present a first listen to 88, the second album from Dundalk artist and multi-instrumentalist Shane Clarke aka Elephant. Released today, both digitally and on 12″ vinyl via Pizza Pizza Records, Clarke has called the album “a soundtrack to my childhood and young adult life.”

From the gossamer folk-pop spell of opener ‘Summer’ to the album’s glitchy closer ‘All These Dragons’, Clarke brilliantly filters bygone times, Proustian moments and lucid epiphanies of the past through a lens that always see melody and – the album’s crowning achievement – his vocals take centre-stage.

Speaking about the release – which is dedicated to the memory of the late, and much-missed Conor Walsh – Clarke said, “It began without a concept but gradually the theme of nostalgia became very apparent. This in turn led me to start writing songs with a view to my own past, but more specific than usual. Distinct moments in time like an unforgettable conversation, a first kiss, being told of a passing etc. Twelve moments that could explain who I was and who I turned out to be, each given a spotlight and a feel, but none as important as the album as a whole.”

The follow-up to 2015’s HyperGiant, 88 was produced by Joseph Edwards, and mixed by Marc Carolan. “As a trio, we worked in an unusual fashion,” Clarke revealed. “I would create the bones at home and bring to Joseph’s studio. We would decide what was good enough to keep and re-rerecord the rest. We would then add the studio icing and bring to a solid mix.”

Supported by Montauk Hotel, Elephant will launch 88 at the Spirit Store in Dundalk tonight (July 20). Have a first listen to the album below.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.