Twitching back to life after three years away, Everything Everything return with a record that is surprisingly based on the Pixar’s main animation team. Kidding. It is ‘of course’ built largely on a dense psychological hypothesis known as bicameralism. One of the track videos was based on a chimpanzee having an existential crisis. So far, so perfectly Everything Everything, then.
Even by Jonathan Higgs’ normal standards, some of the lyrics teeter on the edge like a man who is a whisker away from being found raving at the world while sitting in a bath full of baked beans. But they contain stunning moments of beauty too. When the band slows down to take in the world around them on the beautiful ‘In Birdsong’, it is something close to transcendent. From one metaphor fitting for these post-lockdown days to another, album highlight ‘Big Climb’ may strike a little too close to the bone with its apocalyptic atmosphere to get much radio airplay. But what a song. Elsewhere, tracks seem to touch on our post-Brexit landscape with talk of dog-whistle politics and chasing figurative monsters over a cliff edge. Very 2020, really.
Largely ditching some of the more electronic flourishes of recent albums, ‘Re-Animator’ perhaps skirts closer to a ‘Kid A’ era-Radiohead vibe than anything Everything Everything have done before. Deceptively simpler instrumentally, harmonies come to the fore, gliding and guiding you to a sense of peace worlds away from the chaos of today. One decade in, this band are as fascinating as ever. Plenty of (new) life in them yet.