In a fog of mischievous bottom-end tonality, we discover an arrangement that is as light as a feather in “The Cheerful Dead,” the closing finale in Elektragaaz’s interesting Your Own Private Cinema Part 1 EP. In my first examination of Your Own Private Cinema Part 1, this was the song that got my attention the most; its drifting melodies and swanky, muted groove are only a taste of what the record it sits on brings to the table, but together they happen to form one of the most intoxicating harmonies that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a look at in the last couple of months.


Where many of Elektragaaz’s peers are embracing barebones minimalism in 2023, this band isn’t afraid of surreal excesses – take “Dancing a Little Tipsy with Shorty,” one of the more cathartic works in Your Own Private Cinema Part 1, for example. Just like “The Cheerful Dead,” it’s essentially a power piece that has been given an abstract stylization with glowing guitar parts that are more ambient than they are rock in design. The same can be said for “Things Take a Turn,” but it’s worth pointing out that Elektragaaz never uses the same formula twice in this tracklist; every song here is an original, even if they do bear a synthetic likeness to one another.

The instrumentation in singles “We May Die But We Will Not Rust” and “Lady Hannah Fights the Red Demon” tells us more about who these musicians are as a group than any sort of lyrics could have in more streamlined pieces like “Tropical Sway” or “The Cheerful Dead.” These tracks clarify their lyrical emotion with harmonies that are just as communicative, if not a dash more so when it counts the most (check out the climax in “We May Die But We Will Not Rust” to see what I mean).

Elektragaaz isn’t satisfied in stimulating one part of our brains in Your Own Private Cinema Part 1; they want to engage us completely with this material, and multilayered arrangements ensure that they’re able to do exactly what they set out to in songs like these.

This tracklist has a very progressive feel to it, with “We May Die But We Will Not Rust” spilling into “Things Take a Turn” seamlessly as though each of these songs was originally part of a calculated studio medley. I can see even more concept albums in Elektragaaz’s future if they were inclined to make something with that kind of artistic depth; they’ve got all the right pieces to construct a project of that sort without having to change the style of their music one iota, and with a bit more focus on the production aspect of their work, they could make the modern rock opera that listeners have been collectively asking for in the 2020s.

From where I sit, it’s safe to say this crew has found their sound, and more importantly, they would appear to be connecting on a much deeper level than they were the first time they entered the studio together. Elektragaaz is ready for bigger things, and I think that Your Own Private Cinema Part 1 verifies their status.

Garth Thomas