The phasing whorl of pulsing melody that shimmers through and around Phil Danyew’s vocals on the debut Elephant Castle single “Cool To Be Unhappy” immediately puts you in an elevated yet introspective emotional space. This despite the wistfully melancholic tone and subject matter of the lyrics. The song begins asking the question “Are you ever really happy?” to someone who acts like they’re too cool to demonstrate any joy or connection to much of anything. But someone who is a former love about whom conflicted and complex feelings linger. Like someone for whom you still harbor a sense of care and affection even though you’re not sure why and you’re trying to forget even though this person was incapable of loving you back the way you need, the way that would seem normal in even a fairly dysfunctional relationship. The orchestral arrangements of the song lend that interpersonal dynamic the air of a dramatic farewell that honors your feelings even though ultimately they weren’t reciprocated. The dreamlike atmospherics and expert mix of electronics with elegantly composed rock instrumentals is reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Losing You” and resonates with that song’s own evocation of conflicted feelings. Phil Danyew spent six years playing multiple instruments and singing backup vocals in the touring version of indie rock band Foster the People and “Cool To Be Unhappy” is a fine introduction to his own songwriting talent demonstrating a clear gift for crafting emotionally stirring ear candy. Listen to “Cool To Be Unhappy” on Soundcloud and connect with Elephant Castle at the links below.