Led by frontman Diego Garcia, Elefant played a small role in the stylish, '80s-influenced indie rock scene that swept through New York City during the early 2000s. The band released two albums during its time together, mining a mix of '80s British indie rock and new wave on its debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, and emphasizing dance grooves on the follow-up record, Black Magic Show. Elefant eventually called it quits in 2010, with Garcia choosing to pursue a solo career after the split.
Although born in Detroit, Garcia moved around as a child, spending time in his parents' native Argentina before relocating to Tampa, Florida. It was in Florida that he bought an acoustic guitar at the age of 14 and began writing his own songs. Music remained an active hobby until Garcia's graduation from Brown University in 2000, when he jettisoned a possible career in economics in order to move to New York City. There, he began piecing together a band, eventually forming Elefant with bassist Jeff Berrall, guitarist Mod, and drummer Kevin McAdams. Creating a sound that leaned heavily on the Smiths and the Cure, Elefant recorded a four-song demo and signed with Kemado, a local indie imprint that had opened its doors in 2002.
Kemado released The Gallery Girl EP in February 2003, followed two months later by the band's atmospheric debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid. By the time Garcia and company reappeared in April 2006 with The Black Magic Show, they'd incorporated hard rock guitars and dance rythmns into their sound, earning comparisons to Bloc Party and the Killers in the process. Like its predecessor, The Black Magic Show earned warm reviews. It proved to be the band's last release, however. After taking a three-year hiatus, Elefant briefly reconvened in 2009 to work on a third album, but the promised record never materialized. Instead, a brief MySpace post announced the band's official split in June 2010. ~ Andrew Leahey