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It started with two former label mates and competitors at Maverick Records, Josh McMillan (of Deuce Project fame) and solo artist, Ben Jelen (Maverick, Custard Records), who had unwittingly become friends. Both had, after all, spent their late teens and early twenties ensnared in the emotionally draining ebbs and flows of near rock stardom. Their next musical chapter unfolded when they realized that only together, as a part of something larger, could they attempt to topple the walls that the industry had built around them. With this, Under the Elephant was born; a family of friends and musicians that came together to create a unique and organic sound from the heart.
Both Ben and Josh’s years of experience in the pop music industry has influenced the band’s deeply melodic song writing and emotionally charged live shows. While sometimes hinting at a spiritual element, the songs of Under the Elephant combine Pop, Rock, Dance, and Electronica to create a magical journey. McMillan leads this troop with his southern alt. rock vocal accompanied by Jelen’s rich vocal harmony and modern synth. Lead guitarist, James Darwin Stull, fills in the sound, with his unconventional guitar lines, while the rhythm section, brothers Stan and Steve Esposito on bass and drums, muscle the beat into that downtown Manhattan dance-floor vibe. Their sound completes itself with the blend of Jelen, Tina Mathieu and Lisa McMillan on back-up vocals as they conjure an illusion to a gospel choir responding to lead singer McMillan’s sometimes frenzied preacher-like chants.
After garnering a small New York following with the strength of first draft demos and high-energy live shows, Under the Elephant disappeared into the studio. For the past year, the band has been independently recording and mixing a soon to be released debut album at Electric Blue Velvet Studios in Sleepy Hollow, NY. You can now download Under the Elephant’s first three singles The Beautiful Shuffle, Dancing, and Warm and Tender. Stay tuned for the release of Under the Elephant’s full album coming in Spring 2011!