Floating Points - Elaenia
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2015 Ratings: #33 / 770
Year End Rank: #21
User Score
Based on 152 ratings
2015 Ratings: #63
November 6, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Luaka Bop / Label
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The Guardian
Like its namesake – a lithe South American bird – Elaenia flits, swoops and soars beautifully, impossible to pin down, let alone cage.
Loud and Quiet
What makes ‘Elaenia’ so moreish is the atmosphere Shepherd evokes: effortlessly groove-laden live drums, hazy not-quite-melodies and a seamless flow across its 43 minutes makes for rather hypnotic listening.

Elaenia is fated to become one of those albums that inspires ritualistic listening parties held by small groups of audiophiles. That shouldn't be held against it.

It is as warm and fluid an "electronic" album as you will hear all year, and it has a timeless feel: There's no reason it could not have been written and recorded 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.
'Elaenia' is one of those rare albums that crosses genres and audiences with ease due in thanks to the sheer craft that's gone into its seven tracks.
The Skinny

As befitting a music obsessed neuroscience graduate, the sounds here are as eclectic as much as they are cerebral, with Kenny Wheeler, Toru Takemitsu and Moreton Subotnick all cited as influences.

Without the consistent BPM expected of music-makers in the dance world — which Shepherd is, even though he’s never adhered strictly to the 4/4 formula — the cohesive seven-track effort does indeed flow differently from the assortment of variously rhythmic EPs and 12-inches he’s released since 2008.

What makes his debut so appealing is that Shepherd never sounds too rigidly loyal to any genre or sound, making Elaenia a fascinating and confident debut from a tenured rookie.

Rolling Stone
His years of relentless effort have paid off marvelously, and the album's lush jazz-ambient fusions confirm him as one of contemporary electronic music's most forward-thinking talents.
It’s a headphones record, one with intimate, subtle details.
Resident Advisor
It was unlikely the first Floating Points album would've been anything other than beautiful, though its stunning virtuosity turned out more elusive than expected.
The Line of Best Fit
If you’re looking for some music to jog to, this probably isn’t it. But for an album to lose 40 minutes in – to remember what it feels like for an LP to challenge the listener to stay enveloped for its whole duration – look no further.

Elaenia acts as a brilliant encapsulation of a huge talent.

Consequence of Sound

Following the example of Four Tet’s excellent There Is Love in You, Shepherd has broken away from the dance floor to craft a confident and fulfilling electronic record meant to be enjoyed in quieter spaces.

The record only lasts seven songs, and with the flood of ideas that Shepherd clearly brings to the table, it’s a damn shame we don’t have more time in his world.
Elaenia is a beautifully composed electronic album that really breezes by you within a moment's notice. It is very fluid combining elements of jazz and ambient sounds. It really is an album that is pleasuring for the ears.
Expertly crafted. Everything is in its right place
to keep your buzz going you hold onto a wave of listening including early four tet, manitoba, talk talk, lonnie liston smith but nothing feels as complete.
What I most enjoy about this record is in how the music draws me deeper and deeper into each track with the final track finding me in full groove mode and left... Gasping. It's akin to a dream you find yourself fully immersed within and its a very good dream... Very surreal and pleasant. I mean, you want to stay in the dream. You don't want it to end and then it does. It just ends. "Elaenia" is one of those electronic music accomplishments that sounds a bit simplistic until you ... read more
Creating an atmosphere of intense silence between the gorgeous melody lines, Sheppard makes you listen to every detail as if all could vanish in a second and instantly take you away with it. With experimentalism, lyricism and carrying all kinds of influences, this project promises to do something revolutionary in music, both in the solitude of headphones as in the effusive desire to balance the body infinitely.
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Track List

  1. Nespole
  2. Silhouettes (l, ll, lll)
  3. Elaenia
  4. Argente
  5. Thin Air
  6. For Marmish
  7. Peroration Six
  8. Silhouettes
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Added on: August 27, 2015