It’s hard to generalise UK group Everything Everything’s sound: in the past lead singer Jonathan Higgs has described it as primarily being pop, but not in a way that you’ve heard it before. Over their eight year career we have heard aspects of alternative rock, electronica, art rock and art pop: an impressive CV to say the least. Since the release of their debut Man Alive in 2010 and their sophomore album Arc in 2013, the group have been nominated for three Ivor Nevello awards and a shortlisted entry for the Mercury Music Prize. Now Everything Everything are back with their third effort, Get To Heaven. It has been said the band are moving in a new sonic direction: it’ll be interesting to hear how this group have evolved.
It all begins with the bitter sweet To The Blade which explodes after its quiet beginnings. Lead single Distant Past became Triple J’s number one most played track when it was released earlier this year, and you can hear why it warranted such saturation: there are so many layers to keep you hooked and Higgs almost raps the verses before launching into his trademark falsetto vocals. Title track Get To Heaven has a fun and laid back ring to it. A steady beat and chant opens Regret, the bass line in the verses are almost reminiscent of Salt-N-Peppa’s Push It, but it’s an enjoyable track overall. Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread is as interesting as it is catchy: by now you just take in every element of every song and this is definitely one of those moments. Possibly the strangest track on the album so far, The Wheel (Is Turning) has a darker and more robotic sound to it, whereas Fortune 500 is perhaps the most atmospheric as it brings back falsetto vocals and airy instrumentation. Blast Doors follows the same formula, easily becoming a highlight; with an introduction and soundscape seemingly made from a glitchy voice mail. Zero Pharaoh is the meaning of obscurity, lyrically and sonically.
Eminem may be a self proclaimed rap god, but Jonathan Higgs could perhaps be in the running for falsetto king, the way he rapidly fires out the lyrics in No Reptiles from a wisp to a brick wall is commendable. Warm Healer is introduced as this disjointed beat before acquiring structure in its vocal melody and soundscape. We Sleep In Paris has the character of a soft rock ballad, sung in desperation. With empowering synths and rapid vocal action, Hapsburg Lipp has a lot going on and should keep you hooked. President Heartbeat has an 80s electronica/pop vibe in the form of an alternative rock song, a strange perception of the song but upon listening you’ll most likely have similar views. There’s something dramatic about the intro to Brainchild, but it soon gives way to a call and response verse and a fun arrangement. Yuppie Supper has a tinny drum part and an arcade game styled synth introduce it before extra layers join the part on the mostly instrumental track. Lastly, Only Good As My God also has synths to die for and its intended glitches make it all the more exciting, summing up the album as being a part of the family.
With each album release it becomes more clear as to how much of a keen ear the member of Everything Everything must have, every sound and every element had a purpose in the genetic make up of each track. Get To Heaven is definitely a step up from their previous work, it’s edgier at times and the group really took the time and effort to expand on familiar territory as well as explore new sonic possibilities to make something enjoyable. It’s like the album was split in two parts; part one is the alternative rock/pop chapter, whereas part two is where Everything Everything get a little experimental. The standard 11 track edition is a must have, and for die hard fans the 17 track deluxe is a generous gift. Get To Heaven may or may not be the peak of Everything Everything’s career, but it will be interesting to see where they end up next.