E1sbar – The Legend Of
Long-distance duo E1sbar (pronounced Ice Bear) return with a maturation of their multi-layered chill-wave sound on The Legend Of. The pair, formed in 2015, blends Frank Cueto’s sweeping musical vistas with Piper Davis’ distinctive vocals which, in her own words, “sounds like a mixture of a woman an a prepubescent boy.”
A definitively modern-day duo, Cueto and Davis have yet to meet in person despite having collaborated on four albums together. The resulting sense of distance permeates Cueto’s production and the overall E1sbar sound as Davis’ day job as a flight attendant inspires examinations of her un-real reality; “I basically live on a cloud”.
On their latest release, The Legend Of, Cueto’s production style stretches out across sonically slick future-scapes with E1sbar’s usual optimism, but where their previous album Looser Futurism explored themes of adapting to a life lived off the ground, The Legend Of is written from the perspective of a post-touchdown reintegration. Davis’ lyrical trajectory is decidedly less “alone in space” and more “looking for life”. The music complements with distinctively grounded dance grooves and incorporates more terrestrial elements like the pedal steel on title track, the sturdy bass line on “Star World,” and the funk-tinged guitar of “Snowfall.” The sense of expanse is still there; glimmering otherworldly atmospheres resonate from track to track but the need for contact, collaboration, and humanity run through the record in a more urgent way. Real-life becomes the promised ideal, followed by the recognition that here in the future — and even on the ground — it’s hard to come all the way down.