Idiosyncratic art-pop outfit Everything Everything return with a short bombastic EP, A Deeper Sea.
It was only around half a year ago when the band released their fourth album, A Fever Dream, to critical acclaim. With Johnathan Higgs’ eccentric vocals, pulsating synth lines and typically hard-hitting instrumentals, it’s not hard to see why. Despite some weak tracks towards the latter end of the LP, the album found a near-perfect blend of pop, funk, dance, and rock elements, all harmoniously put together by the band and producer James Ford.
With this EP lasting only 16 minutes, we perhaps don’t see the full potential of the band, as opposed to previous efforts like Get to Heaven. Yet the two new original tracks, The Mariana and Breadwinner showcase why Higgs and co are consistently praised as one of the most exciting British bands on the scene. The Mariana builds upon a repetitive synth hook, ebbing and flowing throughout the track to create a hypnotic effect. Shrouded with layered vocal lines and other synth patches, the track remains pretty sophomore, especially in relation to other Everything Everything work we’ve become accustomed to.
The archetypal Everything Everything sound returns in the next track, Breadwinner. The hook is almost arcade-game-like, which is paired with an erratic drum pattern, heavy on the hi-hats. The track builds into the pre-chorus with a wailing electric guitar and increasing eccentricity in Higgs’ dark lyrical choices (‘Hold my feet to the fire, hard liquor is my medicine’). The bridge is complete with perplexing saw-synth patterns, a perfect choice for the unnerving theme of the track as a whole. It’s remarkable how this track was saved for this EP, rather than being included in the LP.
Tom Vek’s remix of Ivory Tower certainly adds an almost horror-like element to the track, with the distorted instrumentals and vocals on display, and the peculiar choice of samples. Yet, this remix remains pretty blasé and probably the worst track out of the four. The last track ‘Don’t Let it Bring you Down’ is a live reworking of Neil Young’s classic, recorded for the BBC. The track soon descends into organised chaos around the 2.30 mark, with guitars reminiscent of Radiohead circa OK Computer. Again, there is nothing mind-boggling here, but the track remains a very interesting take on a song which has been covered many a time in the past.
Ultimately, this EP serves as a reminder that Everything Everything are one of the most exciting bands still producing and performing in Britain today. Although perhaps not as cutting-edge as previous attempts like Arc and Get to Heaven, these four tracks demonstrate the fine line the band tow between raw idiosyncrasy and pop sensibilities, often producing fantastic results.
Words by Alex