I was reading Jim Wallis’ The Great Awakening the other day, and he was dropping some quotes by a 20th century sociologist and Christian anarchist named Jacques Ellul. I hadn’t heard of Ellul before, but he had quite the wild ideas regarding theology and politics. His main beef was over technology, and how it dominated humanity. I’m actually not making this post to tell you about this philosopher, but rather a band that goes by the same name.
Ellul recentlyl sent me their self-titled CD. After a few listens, I’m not sure how many of the philosophies of Jacques Ellul would fit into their music (because there are certainly times in which they take advantage of some of the electronic equipment that makes modern technology sound pretty good), but there is a natural charm in their experimental indie pop that feels down to earth. I think Jacques would nod in approval to that.
Ellul resides on the Sounds Are Active label, who have also housed the likes of Soul-Junk, Castanets, and Electric Ill (Viva Voce’s hip hop side project). They live in San Fransisco, and they owe a few shout outs to Radiohead. The slow builds and ominous textures are in debt to their forerunners’ murky trailblazing. I don’t think I’ve given any proper due to Shoegaze since I’ve been writing for this blog, but Ellul gives me good reason to highlight this sleepyheaded indie pop.