PREMIERE: ‘Rhyme or Reason’ by Elstow

Since emerging in 2012, Sydney artist Elstow has covered diverse musical territories. The haunting new single Rhyme or Reason drops just in time for Halloween.

Masterminded by Sydney musician and producer Jared Shaw, Elstow is an eclectic musical project. Drawing on a range of influences throughout their career, Rhyme or Reason is an immersive, dark epic and the exciting culmination of the band’s experiments.

Laid-back, but with a menacing, slow-moving harmony and groove, Rhyme or Reason gives you ample space to contemplate its emotional dynamics —a slow-burner that forms the ultimate Halloween soundtrack.

Elstow, rhyme or reason

You’re welcomed into the world of Rhyme or Reason by rich, organ-like synth pads that bring to mind the trip-hop flavours of Bristol. This mood is deepened with the arrival of the drums — courtesy of Brian Page — and Shaw’s throbbing bass line.

Rolling arpeggios eventually join the mix, creating a more rigid framework for the minimal two-chord harmony. It’s only at approximately the two-minute mark that a vocal presence is felt: Shaw’s falsetto, which is simultaneously angelic and ominous.

It’s also a harbinger of further expansion. Later on in the track, the drums take on a distorted character, the rhythm becomes more agitated, and the layers swirl as the track reaches its final dramatic crescendo.

Rhyme or Reason is set to appear on Elstow’s second full-length record, Electric Ocean, which is due for release in 2022.

In the meantime, check out the spooky video for the single below: