The Manchester four-piece are variously described as geeky maths-rockers, Coldplay wannabes or the pop equivalent of Alt-J. The confusion is understandable: this is a band who owe as much to XTC as they do to Destiny’s Child. And for every 1980s indie guitar reference in their music, there is also an equivalent nod to the likes of Kanye West. In short, Everything Everything are a beautiful, hybrid mess who are producing some of today’s most interesting music.
2010’s Man Alive album introduced them. The Ivor Novello- and Mercury-nominated work showcased a band who were as good as their word when they described themselves as “highly stylised and deracinated – we’re influenced by everything except 12-bar blues”.
Arc kicks off with Cough Cough, which opens like a Jay-Z track before colliding with A-ha and The B-52s. A choppy, sugar-rush affair, Cough Cough boasts so much invention and sparkle you’ll wonder if they have anything left for the other 12 tracks.
Kemosabe keeps the 24-hour party going with its falsetto vocals and its jingle-jangle pop rhythms. There’s a change of pace for the more subtle Duet, a quasi-ballad with a real kick.
The highlight here is Radiant, with singer Jonathan Higgs – sounding uncannily like Paul Young – putting a great vocal line over a mid-tempo song that is thematically related to Man in the Mirror. Whether this is (that dreaded phrase) “art rock” or just very advanced and clever modern guitar pop music (with knobs on) is a moot point.
Everything Everything sound like Britpop never happened, and it’s their very willingness to include unfashionable MOR stylings alongside more common or garden indie tropes that makes them so appealing.
Arc is a considerable step up from Man Alive. This is music for daytime radio that doesn’t sacrifice any of its principles. Impossible to pin down but impossible to resist. everything-every
Download:Cough Cough, Duet, Radiant