Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

{l'elan vital}

When Brandon Bosch moved to Denver 3 years ago, he wanted to find an avenue that would lead him downtown, straight into the heart of the bourgeoning Denver music scene. Now a couple years down that road and Bosch’s outfit, L’Elan Vital, is standing tall amongst the other skyscrapers of talent in town.

Taken from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel “This Side of Paradise”, the name L’Elan Vital seems to be a suitable one for the band. Mysterious and laced with multiple meanings, the band takes their name to mean, “the life eternal”. With their spacious and rich sound, the name couldn’t be more appropriate.

Loaded with adept musicians, L’Elan Vital (Brandon Bosch, vocals, 12-string bass, keys; Sam Gathman, bass, violin; Sam Haycraft, keys, guitar; Andy Berkeland, guitar; Josh Tarrant, drums) is in the midst of finishing their first full length album “The Wink and the Gun”. Already, one of the album’s tracks made it onto a Sims snowboard DVD. Another track has made onto a Landmark Theater/Filter Magazine compilation.

Described as “post rock”, L’Elan Vital’s sound is predicated on strong dynamics. And while a composition’s dynamics typically hinges on peaks and valleys of the song – L’Elan Vital’s adept notion of this concept is taking them further. Music is language. And for the boys in Vital, they have placed importance on the communication between each other. It is in here where you’ll find their cultivated dynamics: When somebody steps forward, one retreats – in amplitude and melody.

In total, L’Elan Vital’s songs are sentences. Strings of characters and words and phrases. Their compositions are methods of communications. But it is not the vocals that do the communicating. The language that Vital speaks in is universal – it’s music and colors and textures and tones. Just as the violin speaks, so too does Bosch’s often cryptic vocals. In theory and in practice the vocals are just another instrument.

L’Elan Vital’s whole body of work is communication. It’s a refined aptitude that, like a grammarian or chemist, comes with knowledge about pieces and parts – the components and how they interact.

And if the purpose of using language is to communicate clearly – L’Elan Vital has found success in their recipe. They’ve turned the corner from relying on electronic drums to now using acoustic drums. In other capacities, the electronic sound is still with them. And it’s an appropriate fit. Reaching toward the sky with their epic pieces, L’Elan Vital’s music is the soundtrack of life as a film.

In the early months of 2008 look for L’Elan Vital’s monstrous album, “The Wink and the Gun”. And stay tuned for upcoming shows and shenanigans, here: www.myspace.com/elanvitalmusic.