Everything Everything: A Fever Dream – sheer musical ambition wins the day
A Fever Dream
Four albums in, and Everything Everything still seem like the kind of band that simply shouldn’t work in today’s musical climate. Over the last seven years, the Manchester-based four-piece have been creating a back catalogue of leftfield, eccentric pop music that tentatively (perhaps accidentally) straddles commerciality, staying the course while most of their erstwhile peers have fallen by the wayside.
Where do they pick up after the self-confessed “horror bible” that was 2015’s Get to Heaven? While that album’s lyrical content was inspired by Jonathan Higgs’s devotion to rolling news channels on their year off touring (and the dismay found within), these songs are a little less lyrically pointed, although there is still room to shoehorn in a hearty dose of realism here and there.
Still, while Higgs’s lyric sheet may have run the gamut from “oblique” to “candid” in the past, Everything Everything are the band that they are because of their sheer musical ambition. With producer James Ford steering them here, that same enthusiasm is in full flight on the zooming, glittering syncopation of Night of the Long Knives, the cantering beat of Desire, the skitterish synths that give way to a Jimmy Somerville-style chorus on Can’t Do, the rocky crash-bang-wallop of Run the Numbers and the exhilarating Ivory Tower.
Even their softer moments pack a punch; the title track begins with an elegiac piano riff before building to a hands-in-the-air climax, while New Deep hears Higgs lonesomely opine, “Is there something wrong with all of this, or is there something wrong with me?” You may ask yourself the same question throughout this album – yet Everything Everything remain one of the only bands that you can dance joyfully to songs with lyrics like “Pin the bunting on the gallows”. There’s a lot to be said for that, you know. everything-everything.co.uk