Elephants are big. Elephants are heavy. Elephants are, according to Minnesota quartet The Persian Leaps, an animal quite worthy of our devotion. But you know what else definitely deserves a little appreciation? The Persian Leaps’ debut EP, an entirely charming five-track display of indie pop prowess. The Leaps first sprung from the imagination of vocalist/guitarist Drew Forsberg years ago, but it’s not until now that the project has truly come to fruition. While it took some time for Praise Elephants to finally appear, there’s no denying the collection has been worth the wait.
On Praise Elephants, The Persian Leaps embody a sound that’s both old and new, but impressive either way. The band’s sharp knack for melody, plus firm grasp on all things indie rock past, just won’t quit from start to finish. Opener “Hard Feelings” is light, tight, and dynamic, where a fuzzed-out intro eventually gives way the sort of jangly guitar sounds that are reminiscent of the Smiths. Fittingly, Forsberg’s vocals undoubtedly recall Morrissey himself, but with a decidedly modern twist. Elements like scratchy guitar riffs and driving beats add a unique layer to the band’s sound, whose influences also include My Bloody Valentine and Guided by Voices.
“Not That Brave” is classic and catchy, with an appealingly upbeat vibe that’s meant to deceive: “I hold my anger like a loaded gun/But I’m not that brave,” goes the chorus, which stays in your head long after the track’s close. Similarly, “Silent Treatment” and “Exponentially Devoted” feel firmly rooted in nostalgia, but with clear nods to the contemporary; “Silent Treatment,” in particular, mixes the sweet with the sour via cushy vocal harmonies that soar over a scuzzy– yet solid– indie rock foundation.
Praise Elephants draws to a close with “Sleepless,” a steady, dreamy finale that sounds anything but fatigued. Just like the influences they so expertly evoke, The Persian Leaps make songs that are cool, catchy and precise from beginning to end. But since it’s only the beginning for these guys, we could still be singing The Persian Leaps’ praises for years to come.