RESTLESS MANCUNIANS HARNESS HA THEIR ’90S INSPIRATIONS.
For the Manchester art-rockers’ fourth LP, they channel Blackpool hip-hop and ’ 90s electronica.
When Everything Everything arrived in the late noughties it was with a jolt. Their calling card was a disparate, intricate sound – R&B wrapped around math rock, pop and electronica and tied up with falsetto vocals. It was an eclecticism that carried their debut Man Alive and continued across its successors, 2013’ s Arc and Get To Heaven, released two years later. Perhaps the greatest surprise about their fourth album, A Fever Dream, then is that its songs should sound so unified. This is not to suggest that Everything Everything’s sound has faded to a palatable beige, rather that for the first time there seems to be a continuous sonic thread running through every track. Naturally, the particular cohesive sound they have chosen is itself a little jarring. The band dig deep into the music of their adolescence for a marriage of ’ 90s sounds: a warm-synthed, Warp-records electronica wedded to a scruffy American-guitar-band fury. It makes for a visceral and pleasingly danceable combination, particularly on the six-minute title track and lead single Can’t Do. But there are moments of quiet poise here too, notably the soft tones of New Deep, which provides necessary respite. It would be misleading to call this record political, but certainly it seems freighted by the times; the album’s title, and the recurrent references to sleeping, waking, nightmares, the dawn, bring a restless, unsettling quality that reflects the uncomfortable unpredictability of the last 12 months. A Fever Dream feels like a very special album – it rests on the band’s great musical loves, it holds a compassion and a curiosity, it knows when to dance and when to strike a more measured pace. It might just be Everything Everything’s most human record to date. HHHH LAURA BARTON Listen To: Ivory Tower | New Deep | A Fever Dream
Everything Everything (Jonathan Higgs, centre): “OK, lads, Eyes Wide Shut sex party here we come…”