The shimmery DIY indie-rock project, Elle PF are on the heels of releasing their sophomore album, I Woke Up Today Laughing, recording tracks all throughout the pandemic. Today, they share the first single, “Ultimatum,” off their new album. The first release since their 2018 debut, “Ultimatum” is a mesmerizing montage of thought and emotion as the band’s lead vocalist and lyricist Ranelle Labiche envelopes herself in a cycle of self-reflection.
Digging deep into the darker areas of her past, Labiche travels through her mind to lay the tracks for a sovereign path ahead. With intricate, yet subtle lyrics, she and the band capture the fleeting inclination to grab onto the past, but they ultimately let it go to find freedom in their future. As an almost lackadaisical beat drives the lofty song, and instrumentals open up, Labiche finds meaning in her reflection.
An avid motorcyclist, the music video pairs Labiche’s internal thoughts with the physical sensation of riding her motorcycle. Here she finds freedom and can traverse an external space as intricate and winding as her mind. Directed, filmed and edited by LA local indie artist, Jimmy Whispers, the video first depicts Labiche in her room, then shifts to a first person point of view behind the motorcycle as she twists and turns along the curved streets and famous boulevards in and around Los Angeles. Finally, Labiche finds the rest of her band, motorcycles and instruments at their side, under an overpass, and they rock out to the final moments of the single.
Growing up in the Mid-West, Labiche started learning the piano and violin at the age of five. By the time she reached her teen years, she was playing in local punk bands and earned degrees in music and psychology. She now works in L.A. as a board certified music therapist in mental health treatment centers throughout the city. Merging her musical career with her personal life has always been second nature to Labiche and in addition to helping others with music, sees it as a space to explore and process events and emotions in her life.
With Elle PF, she and band members Jenessa LaSota (bass/vocal harmonies), John Acarregui (drums), and Doc (guitar) channel an honest and palpable string of emotions and explore many life themes, reflecting internally as well as critiquing and commenting on society at large. Anything from existentialism to political frustrations are carefully dressed with a combination of pulsating indie rock and punk. With influences that include the likes of Bjork, St. Vincent, Amanda Palmer, and God Speed! Black Emperor — Elle PF find a visceral, yet palatable balance to write dense and honest lyrics draped over a kaleidoscope of sound.
Words: Patti Sanchez