Signing Story: Elf Power

Date Signed: Sept. 20, 2021

Label: Yep Roc Records

Band Members: Andrew Rieger, Dave Wrathgabar, Peter Alvanos, Laura Carter, Neil Golden

Type of Music: Psychedelic Rock

Manager: Andrew Rieger

Legal: John Seay

Publicity: Joe Sivick - [email protected]

Web: elfpower.com

A&R: Mariah Czap & Glenn Dicker

Psychedelic rockers Elf Power formed way back in 1994, in Athens, GA. Initially it was a recording project for Andrew Rieger, as he taught himself how to use a four-track cassette recorder while writing songs.   

“The first album was done mostly by myself on a four-track cassette machine, and I had a few friends helping out,” Rieger says. “That was the first album that came out in 1995, called Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs, and we self-released that on vinyl. People liked it, and so basically we started getting offers to do shows, but there wasn’t a band in existence. So, I basically formed a live band in order to play those songs on the first album.”

It’s fascinating—that Rieger formed the band out of necessity due to the growing popularity of his songs. These days, he says that Elf Power is more of a collaborative group, even if he still does the bulk of the songwriting. It has certainly evolved.

“There are influences of psychedelic rock, of punk rock, of folk music,” he says. “It’s kind of a mix of a lot of different stuff that we enjoy listening to and making.”

Rieger named his band after seeing the words “Elf Power” written in concrete in Downtown Athens. “I could never find it again when I went back to look for it,” he says. “So I never knew if I hallucinated it or if I actually saw it.”

The band recently signed with Yep Roc Records, Rieger having been friends with label co-founder Glenn Dicker since 2004. “He came to see us play,” he says. “So I’ve been friends with them for a while now. It took a long time to start working with them as a label, but I’ve known them for almost 20 years now.”

Elf Power’s new album, their 14th, is Artificial Countryside, a record that was ready for a while but saw rollout stalled by the pandemic.

“The pandemic also stalled production, so there was a long wait for vinyl,” he says. “Also, at this point in our career, I don’t think we’re in any rush to put out an album every two years like we were when we were younger. We just want to take our time to try to do something different. So for this album, we wrote and recorded about 20 songs, 12 of which ended up on the album.” See Rieger and co. on the road.