Anticipation, expectation and anxiety – all things associated when bands tackle the make or break second album. Less a ramshackle statement of intent than first albums often are, instead giving bands the chance to hone in on what made them great in the first place. With Everything Everything, that great thing was melodic bangers by the bucketful. Arc focuses on their strengths as a band and will surely catapult Everything Everything from small time band to major league indie staples.
Comeback single ‘Cough Cough’ is the smack around the face they needed to mark their return. Put simply, the immediacy and harmonies made it one of last years biggest and most heralded tracks, appearing on the majority of End Of Year lists. Once you get the first taste of shouting ‘and that eureka moment hits you like a cop car’ in a room full of people doing the same, you may never go back.
‘Kemosabe’ is a bit of a game changer. Slower in pace than the majority of EE’s older tracks but at no point does it feel like the relentlessly energetic pace is lost in sonic space. Despite singing about being ‘out of my depth’, Jonathan Higson’s vocal has never seemed so at ease. Granted it’s not likely to become a big selling workout anthem, Higson’s trademark falsetto add depth to lyrics that at first appear superficial and shallow.
Have Everything Everything gone a little bit country? Well the opening chimes of ‘Choice Mountain’ certainly seem to think so. Developing into something that wouldn’t sound out of place if it was being played out of a retro music box. The album’s eponymous track is the closest Everything Everything may ever come to writing a ballad, but miraculously; it works. The power of the atmospheric backing cries bring an ethereal edge into play and the fact that it’s only one minute and 26 seconds long is a shame but as the saying goes – ‘good things come in small packages’.
As terrible as the Summer riots were to witness, there’s no doubt that the music they inspired is some of the most hard hitting of our time. Asking ‘how can you call this a free world?’ EE get more political than they have ever been. The softness of the melody and vocal are a stark juxtapose with the violent scenes that flooded our TV screens as we watched our home cities burn and be raised to the ground.
Arc is a fine example of how bands should progress and mature when it comes to making music. Without risking being overly experimental, they have focused on what people loved about them on their debut and worked harder than ever before to ensure that they give the people what they want and for that their artistic integrity will shoot through the roof and garner them the love and attention they truly deserve.
Words: Rachael Scarsbrook