Hills Like Elephants, “Non-Fictionalism”

Sjimon Gompers

Hills Like Elephants

San Diego's Hills Like Elephants. From left, Gregory Theilmann, Andrew Armerding, Sean Davenport, Daniel Gallo, and Juan Carlos Ortiz. (courtesy of the band)

San Diego's Hills Like Elephants make the kind of music they always wanted to hear but could never find at a record store. We have talked about both the single and visual for “Fall Through” in recent weeks, and today we are proud to hit the play switch on one of the first listens to “Non-Fictionalism” from their upcoming Bedroom Colonies Vol. 1 from Randm Records. Prepare yourself for some of the poppiest, DIY emotion-laden synth pop you might hear all winter.

“Non-Fictionalism” will go down in my book as a shining example of the inherent power of the home recorded perfect pop song. The synthesizers move in piano like progressions, while at other times they work complicit with the song's urgency and desperation. The song evokes those narcissistic nights of attempting to hold yourself together while breaking down in tears in front of the golden framed glance exchange from the mirror's sob-eyed visage. Sean inserts a bevy of imaginative and emotive charged lyrics that strike different nerve endings at different times, as questions like, “why you begging for a friend”, grind into the mind and heart's more tender membranes.

Some will hear “Non-Fictionalism” and make sweeping new wave era comparisons and other such synth styled analogous pop allusions. But this song is so much more. This is almost the accidental pop song, ripped from the words of unsent letters to a wayward lover, releasing the sounds of ground-shaking heartbreak in a musical manner that only Sean, Andrew, Greg, Daniel and Mike understand in full. For those that have yet to embrace San Diego's indie undercurrent, now might be the right time. With all the right moves, all the right starts and stops; Hills Like Elephants pull all the stops and leave you with the cut-and-run infinite brokenness of the long lasting hurt exemplified in lyrical recitations of, “all you ever do is run away”.

Frontman Sean Davenport joins up with us again to discuss the recording of “Non-Fictionalism”, fiction versus non-fiction and more.

Bedroom Colonies really feel like they embody the spirit of DIY home recording, how did your own idiosyncratic home setup give birth to tracks like “Non-Fictionalism”?

A lot of these home recordings were based around the band hanging out at Greg's house and playing with his home recording set up. As a result we ended up with a collection of tracks that we really didn't have much to do with other than release for free on our own and it's a cool validation of work and fun times.

This cut really operates on it's own axis, what non-fiction inspired this piece?

All of us enjoy fiction. In fact I continue to read contemporary fiction. Not for any particular reason but just because I enjoy good storytelling and somehow lyrically I was trying to express my admiration for an imaginative mind.

Why is fiction do you feel maybe harder or easier to relate to?

Don't get me wrong I enjoy reading the newspaper on a daily basis so I get my fair dose of non-fiction but fiction in general is just an easy way to escape from your day-to-day interactions and exploring the innovative world of somebody else's ideals who has the capability to take on a cool story path.

What do you all feel is the matter with fiction, and the modern novel these days?

I don't think that any of us have a particular problem with the modern-day fictional writings. In fact we having to enjoy a good amount of it.

Will Hills Like Elephants ever contribute to the great American literary canon?

At some point of my life I hope to gather enough tales of adventure do contribute to the Great American literary canon. Details to follow…

Thoughts on San Diego's Chargers, their charm, their plight, and why they remain to have a place in our hearts despite the odds?

Following The Chargers these days I feel like it is kind of a waste of time and I say that with all admiration they do keep trying but in all honesty most of us spend more time reading that we do watching the Chargers.

Bedroom Colonies Vol. 1 will be available January 2014 from Randm Records.

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