Exclusive Premiere: ELKA’s Debut EP

  • Words: Jess Gruet

We’re proud to premiere the debut EP from South coast’s newest indie-pop purveyors ELKA. Previously ‘Joel Peter’, 2016 saw a change in name as the act metamorphosed from a man with a band to the energetic jazz-indie-pop outfit we see today. We caught up with leading man Joel to find out a little bit more about the changes that led to the creation of this EP.

Tell us about your debut EP. What was the inspiration behind it?

Our last single, Sway. We had so much fun putting that record out and seeing it on Made in Chelsea that I think everyone was itching to get back in and showcase some more of the material we’d been gigging.

You were ‘Joel Peter’ but 2016 saw you become ELKA: why the change in name and how does ELKA’s sound differ from ‘Joel Peter’?

I was really fed up of taking all the guitar solos! A lot had changed since I had started out as a songwriter with a band – there were different members and there definitely was a different sound. A name change felt appropriate when members became permanent fixtures at every show. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Musically we are all coming from different points of the pentagon – that’s got five sides, right? Luke used to be in a fairly riff-heavy three piece and likes something with a bit of punch and/or the slightly weirder more intricate Radiohead stuff. Harry likes the song ‘American Boy’ by Estelle and requests to play it at every gig, but he’s also a huge Jazz fan. Jack and I are either very much on the same page with our influences or a million miles apart. I really love Radiohead and Interpol, Jack really doesn’t but we both have huge admiration for Foals and Bombay and would cite them as reasons we are friends. Warren is probably the glue between the five of us: he loves a great melody and will push me to making sure my next top line is always better than my last. It’s so important in a band like ours – often if Warren isn’t enjoying my phone memo nonsense, the likelihood is, it’s probably rubbish.

What would you say is the best decade for music?

We’ll probably all disagree on that one. The 80s is quite divisive – it’s a little bit like daytime TV, there’s so much rubbish that when you find a gem like Deal or No Deal, it’s heralded around like it’s the Holy Grail. So with that in mind, you can’t really go far wrong with the 60s and Lennon and McCartney. We’ll go 1960s whilst winking at you in our Choose Life Wham T-shirts.

What would be your dream musical collaboration?

That’s so hard to answer! Someone like John Williams – he’s composed some of the best film scores of all time. Who does’t love the Jurassic Park theme tune?

You have some live dates coming up in London and Brighton, what should the public expect?

We really want people to come out and enjoy seeing us play. There are some pretty jazzy shirts and even jazzier dancing from Jack, a fairly punchy bunch of songs that won’t apologise for their pop roots and elements of David Brent and Alan Partridge. “All in all a condensed Pink Floyd concert for £500.” One for the Partridge fans, there.

What’s next on the horizon?

Shows, and hopefully lot of them throughout this year. We’d like to go out to the Czech Republic again – strangely we have a good following there! Right now we’re managing and booking ourselves but we’d love to find some new team members, so that’s certainly a priority too.

Thanks Joel! Catch ELKA on tour and listen to the new EP below.