During the last four strange and bizare months, contributions that may usually have passed by subtly have generated investment and anticipation. Running through the timeline of events on our strange planet are artists Everything Everything cordially sharing four individual and celebrated tracks from their forthcoming album Re-Animator. Never unaccompanied without videos to question the imagination, different methods were needed to produce them, and it has transpired that their depth has documented creative highlights in this period.
Being consumed, as a great many of us have, by music during lockdown period, two covers have held my attention: Father John Misty’s Leonard Cohen cover of One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong, and Everything Everything’s version of Neil Young’s Don’t Let It Bring You Down. The more I play it, the more apparent it is how Mike Spearman, Alex Robertshaw, and Jeremy Pritchard’s playing ebbs and flows together as neon lasers weaving through the air; the original and striking voice of Jonathan Higgs tops it, rendering the whole outfit quite extraordinary.
Do you know the montage in an 80’s movie? The one where a girl has a make-over, shaking a mirror shine ponytail loose and tentatively removing their round-framed spectacles, or perhaps the end of the film where they take one look back, a deep breath, and board a bus to New York City, well brand new track Violent Sun would be the soundtrack. It somehow manages to be a big, pulsing song yet is understated with an underlining urgency about it, including an ingenious key change into the instrumental adding to its euphoric spirit.
At first look at the footage, I assumed that the band was running away from something, each member in their environment and armed with their GoPro cameras, but they are running to something, which paints a different attitude to the video and provides a warm feeling. The set up when the quartet is together has a ring of No Reptiles about it. However, this time they are not dressed in pure white splattered in red, but head to toe in bright red; like one door closes and another opens, leading us to a new era.
Going deeper with new beginnings, the uncomplicated video directed by Higgs introduces some burnt instruments from when their Manchester lock up caught fire and tragically destroyed much of their equipment. Of the song Jonathan thinks,
“Violent Sun is about the feeling that something terrible is approaching fast, and you want to hold on to this moment forever, It’s the last song of the night, and the last song of your life. You only have these four minutes to make it happen, so make it happen!”
Expressed in the lyrics, “I wanna be there! When the wild wave comes, and we’re swept away, I wanna be there! When the wild wave comes, for us.” It does strike you as a fantastical apocalyptic piece, but it also relates to our human lives. Those four minutes are our lifespan, where maybe we should take their advice on the matter and accomplish as much as damn possible.
We all enjoy a grand Champagne Supernovaesque closer on a record, but Everything Everything has chosen Violent Sun, adding a refreshing touch; it is grand but in its eccentric way. It follows Birdsong, Arch Enemy, and Planets, and all that's left is to count down the days until August 21st when we can listen to it in its entirety. March sees the band play a full UK and Ireland tour in support of Re-Animator, where allowing ourselves to be absorbed by our soundtrack to confinement will taste all the sweeter together.
Article by Beverley Knight