Elastic Bond's Experimental Honey Bun Offers a Lesson in Open-Mindedness
Elastic Bond finds a "pure place" in music.
Photo by Alissa Christine
Elastic Bond has never been the kind of band to concern itself with limits, be they conventions of genre, language, instrumentation, or influences within the group's music.
Songwriters Sofy Encanto, from Honduras, and Andres Ponce, from Venezuela, exist in two spaces at once, influenced by the music they heard growing up in their native countries and the music they've come to love in the country they've called home for more than a decade each.
"Our music is our heritage," Encanto says. "We embrace it." Though most of the music she listens to these days is sung in English, as the vocalist in Elastic Bond, she alternates between languages on the band's albums and in performances.
Sometimes the music has no language at all. The lead-off track on their newest album, Honey Bun, is "Dorada," a tropical instrumental.
The band worked with Grammy-winning producer Adrian Quesada (best known for his work with Grupo Fantasma) on the new record, which blends elements of '60s girl groups, rhythm-guitar-driven dance-pop, horn-backed tropicalia, and whirling synths.
"[Quesada] gave the sound that rock 'n' roll feel, that analog crunch," Ponce says. "We were trying to go a little bit throwback with it. It's a mix of everything, though. It's also a reflection of our modern times."
The throwback sound emerges on songs such as "In a Perfect World." The track bops along to the rhythm of a Saturday-morning park stroll and nods to the funky soul beats of retro queen Amy Winehouse. Four tracks later, "Alone, Together" zips forward to dance along to the blips of the synthwave revival.
"We're in a constant search for or updating our identity as we go along," Ponce says.
Encanto and Ponce believe that the open-mindedness with which they approach making music illustrates a wider lesson about inclusion that is badly needed in the world right now.
"I feel very blessed and lucky to be able to put out this album in the times we're living in," Encanto says, "because the album does have songs about freedom and love, and right now that's what we need. We need love."
Adds Ponce: "You look at the state of the world right now and those messages of negativity and hate and division — we feel so blessed that we have that pure place to go to, which is music, which knows no political differences or religion or color or anything. We strive to create something where everything is welcome. We see ourselves as part of the new evolution of humankind in the world, where cultures are blended. We want to reflect that in our music."
Honey Bun was released February 17. The band will celebrate its long-awaited album release this Thursday at Canvas Miami before taking the stage Sunday at the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival. Ponce says both events are ideal opportunities to show off the new album.
"Honey Bun represents a homey feeling — that double meaning of love, sweetness, friendship, and good music, a funky barbecue with friends in the backyard."
Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival
February 21 through 27 at venues across Miami; Elastic Bond plays Sunday, February 26, at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; 305-767-4460; virginiakeygrassroots.com. Tickets cost $32 to $432.
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