Elika: Girls, Be Serious (three of three)
Saint Marie Records

Arriving a year-and-a-half after the first and eight months after the second, the final seven-inch installment in Elika's Girls, Be Serious trilogy (like its predecessors, limited to 250 copies) once again features two songs only—but what a splendid two songs they are. The Brooklyn outfit—presumably the same individuals featured on the other singles, Evagelia Maravelias and Brian Wenckebach joined by Khaya Lou and Andrew Kwasny—excels at creating soul-stirring dreampop assembled from honey-coated vocals, synths, guitars, and programmed beats.

Chiming guitars and a thrumming beat pulse introduce “Closer,” after which Maravelias's trademark quiver appears to give the song its sultry character (“One step closer, to what we had...”). Alternating between sparkling dreampop verses and soaring, guitar-fueled choruses, the tune entrances for the full measure of its four minutes before the less anthemic but no less captivating “Watch Over Me” weaves multi-layered vocals and buzzsaw guitars into a wistful and haunting ballad presentation. At a mere nine minutes, the third chapter is over fast, but it certainly sounds good when it's playing. Still, the more important question is: what now? Will Elika re-package the three singles into a full-length along with other new material? Let's hope so: the songs released to date would no doubt sound as splendid were they to be heard anew in an album context.

September 2015