Sean Davenport and his San Diego cohorts Hills Like Elephants take the Hemingway iceberg theory of omission approach to create the cryptic art of bedroom penned songs of departure and discontinuities. On “Fall Through”, the Southern California party of 5 take the combined feelings of despair and the combined emptiness of ennui and drop it down a sparse electric keyboard murmur that plays between synthetic choirs and tender guitar strums into the echoes of softly applied absence.
The art of falling through while trying to follow through is told through the initial fast-forward tape squeal and sparkle. Feelings of loneliness are expressed between Sean's delivery of the trials that circle around the frustrations of the alliterative hand-tied, “most days” repetition of expression. “Most days I could fall right through, most days you could fall right through”, The traces of what is not said and who is not present in the song exists into a larger inner zone where every understated sound follows Sean, Daniel, Andrew, David and Greg into the intimate spaces that connect the endless deliberations of the head and heart .
The song straddles between the concern for the day to day struggles to the interrelations and incongruences that occurs inside moments. Once again those fast-forward and rewind sounds allude to an electric suite passage where the focus closes in on the multiple instances of the day and surrounding emotions. “Don't let those moments run away for a while now…those moments are made for the 1 minded person, there's just no room for 2”. While much of the break of things falling apart and through the floor boards remain hidden from the song's view, but the tune's barren room feel of a town too big for the 2 persons in question somehow feels occupied by the constant affection altering thought of a local frayed connection.
Mr. Davenport talked with us about Hills Like Elephants upcoming Bedroom Colonies compilation, the departed photographic legacy of Bob Carlos Clarke, Ernest Hemingway passions, and more.
From the dive bar dirges of Feral Flocks to the new single “Fall Through”; is this your guys's own bit of slow burning transgressive soul?
I don't know if it's transgressive soul or just the general mood of that particular moment, but these most recent tracks have been comprised of bedroom recording sessions that we decided to polish up and release while we get ready to go back to record at Lost Ark Studio here in San Diego. They were all ideas that we came up with that didn't make it to Feral Flocks, but we really had liked to elaborate on into a compilation we are calling Bedroom Colonies. Thinking outside the box while working only in the bed box.
What significance does the erotic artwork from “Falling Through” have?
The art piece is from a famous photographer Bob Carlos Clarke, he shot an album cover for the Damned and tragically threw himself in front of a moving train in the U.K., he also took pictures of lots of celebs, but specialized in these erotic portrayals of depravity undone.
The stark topless nudity on the single cover, shameless publicity ploy? Nudie bar enthusiasts?
In no way do I ever use visual art as a ploy for acknowledgment, I like artistic works that simply make me think and then I like sharing them with a general public as a sort of conversation starter via imagery, it's something I learned from years of working with some of the most creative sound engineers studios. As far as it's correlation to the song goes there is a cosmic connection about falling into situations that you never thought that you would be in with another individual or individually. There is a kind of romantic or sexual overtone to the this darker slow burner which I guess works well with Bob Carlos Clarke's photography. The decrepit goggles with which we sometimes see when left with little more than our innate debauchery. Beauty paralyzed, perverted, etc etc.
What are some of the best and/or word nudie bars in San Diego these days?
I couldn't really begin to speculate on what the best or worst nudie bars are here in San Diego, the only thing I could probably do is validate that they exist. Im sure they all have an appeal and I hope the ladies there are doing well.
Are you guys big Hemingway fans? I only asked because your name always reminded me of his Hills Like White Elephants piece.
Yes I am a huge Hemingway fan, that is where I got the name from, but I took the white out of the title due to the fact that another band already had the name, or were using it as a song title. It's my favorite short story by him and again I always love to advocate pieces of that I feel need to be shared as food for thought.
Hills Like Elephants album Feral Flocks is available now on Bandcamp while their third album is in the works.