The boys who have everything
Young English quartet Everything Everything are earning raves for their intricate songs and irresistible choruses, writes Lauren Murphy
HE’S hurriedly dragging on his jacket, battling with a dying mobile phone battery, struggling to pack a suitcase and numerous musical instruments, and trying his level best to conduct an interview at the same time, but Mike Spearman can still muster up the energy to be excited. Who says men can’t multitask? Later today, he’ll get a train to Heathrow and then a plane to Japan with his bandmates. “I’ve never been, but Jonathan, our singer, has,” he explains. “He climbed Mount Fuji, but he also got E coli.”
Multitasking is a common theme with Spearman’s band, Everything Everything. Although the quartet are by definition a “guitar band”, their propensity to glue several styles, genres and sparkly glitter to that mast means that their hybrid of funk, electro-pop, indie and disco sets them apart from the vast majority of their contemporaries.
The foursome met when Jonathan Higgs, lead singer and schoolfriend of Spearman, met bassist Jeremy Pritchard at Manchester’s Salford University in 2007. Guitarist Alex Niven, who’s based in London, later completed the line-up.
“We lived in a house together and we used to rehearse in the basement,” the drummer explains. “When Alex joined the band, it was a bit of a trial-by-fire thing, because we were just about to get signed. He came in and rehearsed with us for about a week before we had to start recording.”
It may have been a baptism of fire, but there are no tell-tale signs of hastiness or ill-preparation on the album. Man Alive is one of the most impressive, tightly constructed British debuts released so far this year; it’s a beautifully paced record that employs the best funk basslines, the most off-kilter rhythm structures, the dreamiest falsetto vocals and the brightest, most irresistible pop choruses heard since Friendly Fires’ debut in 2008.
The often complex and intricate structures of the record’s 12 songs – things have changed significantly since they introduced the synth to their sound, claims Spearman – means that the band’s writing and recording process is often a higgledy-piggledy affair.
“Jonathan comes up with all the lyrics. He’ll bring a germ of an idea into the practice room that he’ll have programmed on his laptop, and then we sort of reverse-engineer that, in a way – we take the song apart and put it back together again for ‘real’ people. During that process, the songs normally change a lot, you take out sections, put sections in; just try to make it as