Everything Everything completed a string of festival dates in support of 4th album A Fever Dream last summer, but much of this record is yet to have made the live shows. As they prepare to head on their biggest tour yet at the end of February, EE have hinted that they will perform less prominent tracks in a more esoteric set - probably comprised of live debuts, surprises and forgotten gems.
From chart-flirting singles and R&B, to mind-boggling math rock and glitchy electronic instrumentals, their roster is as sprawling as they come. And whilst their style simply cannot be pigeonholed (or summed up in ten tracks, let alone five), the following songs – from multiple corners of the EE universe - are all essential listens.
In spearheading a brand spanking new surprise EP A Deeper Sea, this jittery slab of pop genius this week wacked an unsuspecting EE fandom in the face. Lead with clunky piano stabs, sounding like an extension of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘HUMBLE.’, Breadwinner is a fresh, wholesome slab of hip-hop-infused EE goodness - which harks back to the colour-splashed Get To Heaven album. Screeching guitars, haywire synths and a booming kick-drum all blend into this melting pot of euphoria, which is bound to appear in live setlists this week.
Considering the range of music EE’s back-catalogue covers, it probably wouldn’t be representative to include another hyperactive electronic number with a searing rap. But sod it. “Blast Doors” is simply too pioneering and brilliant to ignore. A dexterous bassline and twitchy guitar provide a restless instrumental for Jon Higgs’ (lead) verbose and slapstick monologue.
Rewind back further to debut album Man Alive - a twelve-track splurge of ideas. As a tropical mishmash of two pieces of music (a recurring motif in the EE repertoire), one of those is “Schoolin’” – a track which bottles a more philosophical lyrical flavour, as opposed to the political focus that followed.
Whilst Higgs’ recent lyrics are now slightly more discernible, early material -including “Schoolin’” - is mind-bogglingly cryptic. Who knows what all the underlying messages are. But as Higgs cries, “what do you mean you saw the stars?” and “right above my head, a miracle, the sun erupt forever/I barely ever raise my eyes”, you get the feeling there’s an appreciation for the everyday environmental phenomenons, of which society habitually takes for granted.
Although mysteriously released only in Japan, this 5-minute-long crescendo is quintessential EE material. Spurned by blasts of icy chords in a complex progression, this gorgeous electronic piece is a gateway to another realm entirely – one in which Higgs crams a swathe of pitch-swinging syllables into each bar at speed. His vocal abilities are truly exposed here.
The best things come to those who wait. That’s the case with the slow-burning robo-pop of Kemosabe anyway, a song which blossoms with perseverance. Once acclimatised to those jagged rhythms and sharp vocal registers, you’ll be ‘genuflecting in a penitent way’ before you know it. This represents the band’s most measured and atmospheric stint to date, in Arc – an introspective breather between the chaos.
Everything Everything take to Leeds’ O2 Academy on Tuesday 6th March.
Photo courtesy of Everything Everything
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