Much like its accompanying artwork, the new album from UK art-pop indie band Everything Everything seems to shimmer with its experimental sound and glamorous output. A refreshing twist on their distinctive sound, each album they produce continues to reach for new concepts and you can tell that the band are driven by progressing their stylistic choices.
Re-Animator begins with a woeful set of tracks; their previous work usually opted for a large and potent introduction – setting a brash mood for what followed. However, ‘Lost Powers’ and ‘Big Climb’ are highlights of the track list. Whilst they don’t have the tremendous crescendos of previous openers, they capture a delicate collection of melodies and instrumental choices. The album is given a hopeful beginning, stepping away slightly from their harsher sound – a credit to their experimental musical endeavours. It is positive to see that on their fifth album the band are still developing their own sound and maybe twisting it into a more nuanced optimism.
Each song uses layering of vocals extremely effectively, lead singer Jonathan Higgs’ distinctive falsettos come together to add a grandeur that is fine-tuned on Re-Animator. This adds a sense of ambience; the tracks feel large. It welcomes the idea of a live iteration, where the bold acoustics of live stages will heighten this nature as I’m sure the band planned it.
Having listened to the singles ahead of the album coming out, the full release seems to stray away from expectations, being lighter. It’s drenched in floaty acoustics and softer beats; the lighter production exudes an innocent feel – an unexpected first listen, begging for a second. As you continue to listen you can see how well it is able to blend into itself, a meticulously crafted piece, oozing with thought and care. This has always been one of the bands strengths as they expertly craft conceptual and fluid bodies of work.
Not necessarily a shortcoming, but usual fans of the art-pop powerhouse will maybe leave feeling a little differently about the band who are clearly beginning a new chapter. The more optimistic choice of symbolism and a sound that is less overtly impactful marks a welcome era for Everything Everything to keep surprising us. It carries a subtle gravitas that is sure to make Re-Animator a dark horse amongst their discography for fans to discover.
The band are set to play a unique virtual reality gig – aligning with the blurred lines of society and technology that they famously portray. More information about the event can be found here: https://everythingeverything.ffm.to/virtualreanimator
Header image: Everything Everything/Press, from NME