When a band or artist you admire are about to deliver a new album, there is always an element of nervous anticipation. When it’s a sophomore album, there are the obvious ‘difficult second album’ cliches and a genuine wonder if they can live up to the hype that surrounded a debut release.
‘Arc’ is Everything Everything‘s second album, the follow up to 2010’s Man Alive, which had been on repeat on the nessymon stereo in 2010. Where ‘Man Alive’ was art college clever and jerky, Arc shows the band all grown up and instead of the possible over compensating electronic pips and squeaks of ‘Man Alive’, Arc shows EE as a band rather than an electronic project.
The album opens with the first single from the album, ‘Cough Cough’, the percussion fueled track still hints at the jerky production and vocals of their debut but as soon as the bass line kicks in the chorus, shows a definite live band feel. The arrangements and mixing have been honed and polished and that makes ‘Arc’ a lot more accessible than its predecessor. It seems that the band have grown into their skin without diluting what made them so good in the first place.
They’ve still got their clever lyrics as in ‘Torso of the Week’ but even the storytelling aspect of their lyrics seems to have matured. ‘Arc’ has also shown Everything Everything to have opened themselves up, making their sound more diverse. ‘Duet’ and ‘Feet For Hands’ acoustic guitar wouldn’t have made it to their debut.
Overcoming the changes in the band, their sound and their musical technique and ability, ‘Arc’ is a great bloody album. It brings you through the highs and lows in tempo and emotion and even gives us a total 80’s singalong chorus in ‘Amourland’.
Even after listening to this album for two weeks, there’s still something new to discover each time. Everything Everything are a kaleidoscope of musical notes, melodies and production. ‘Arc’ is the perfect result. We normally look back at great music releases and remember what happened in our lives at that time. I’ve got the album, now I’ve just got to make the memory.