everso – For The Few, Not The Many – Album Sampler/Singles Review
Diggin’ the THICKNESS in the bass-lines that start this record up on “Rundown” – yessir! everso goes on to reveal a quirky Alt/Indie sound that’s got that endearing uniqueness to it…think along the lines of something akin to Band Of Horses…you know the kind of sound I’m talkin’ about. It’s like this strange blend of shifting moods and melodic magic…that’s what I’m hearing in everso right off the drop – that and a band that seems like it’ll have no problem generating a whole bunch of adventures in sound that we’ve never heard before. Of course we dig that here…we’re all about exploring the unknown realms of music or the corners of the scene that have yet to be pillaged by the mainstream – everso instantly puts out a vibe that says it’s ready to dare to be different…so heck ya – you know I’m onboard for that.
Things seem really solid & on-point right from the drop though – the lyricism/vocals stands out for the innovative design and creative melody you’ll find at the core of this first tune on this debut record – and mix-wise, I felt like you really get maximum value out of every morsel in the musicianship being offered. I’m pretty confident in the fact that the bass-lines alone would sell more than half of you out there alone without another element involved…but I’m happy to report you’ll find a lot more in the mix for you to enjoy alongside’em. “Rundown” is a lively tune, and an artistically designed one as well…it makes for this sly combination of sound that slips like a lurking shadow through your speakers; you factor in the anti-typical vocals you’ll find in everso, and I’d wager a guess that this is the kind of hybrid melody that’s gonna have no problem making a favorable impression on ya. As far as I know, and as far as I’ve been told, everso is just starting to jump into this whole music-making/career dealio – and “Rundown” makes it clear that this band is coming equipped with compelling material and knows how to generate interest. Hooks of the chorus are solid…I think the melody comes through really well there, and I love the harmonies too – I’d probably argue that the main hooks of the verses are actually a bit stronger overall, but hey – that’s a great problem to run into when it comes to making a first impression on us listeners. “Rundown” really does sound DIFFERENT though…in a highly engaging and enticing way that’ll have you instantly curious as to just where in the all-heck this whole record might twist & turn from here on in.
I know I have no objections to “Suzy” being floated as the lead-single currently – it’s a great track to draw people in, with a brilliantly smooth transition into the warm glow of its chorus. There’s a lot about a track like this, and even the first cut as well to be truthful, that seems to have this like…early R.E.M. allure & energy to it…minimalistic & poetic, it’s got the simple ingredients that make good songs great & timeless; the focus on “Suzy” remains locked onto its glowing aura and welcoming soul-soothing sound. The official posting at Bandcamp gives you a little bit more of a glimpse into this London, UK-based band – you’ll see that the sweet low-toned vocals come from Kieran Sherry, and the music & lyrics of everso are coming direct from the mind of Brian Dynes. All-in-all, “Suzy” is a solid representation of what you’ll find on this EP…and I dig that it’s got plenty of single-worthy sound in the melody & mix for ya without at all being a song that feels like it’s punching our face for our attention…this is the mellow-side of single-worthy vibes, and the allure of this cut certainly can’t be denied. everso gets the maximum value outta the hooks in this tune, and everything you’ll hear sounds so unforced and as wonderfully organic as it is creative & entertaining at the same time…hardly effortless by any means, but natural, you feel me? Everything seems to come together with that feeling like everso really tapped into this uplifting & comforting moment with unwavering focus…as a result of that, we end up being just as into “Suzy” as listeners on our end – Kieran & Brian make for quite a solid pairing of talents, and this track reflects that through its prismatic colors and how their melodies sparkle & shine from the music to the microphone.
For an album that’s going to be called For The Few, Not The Many – you might be surprised by just how much this band might be making music that’ll speak directly to your soul. Every time I get to “Phoenix” and hear how cleverly this song was designed, how sincere the melody in the vocals is, how that soft hum of backing vocals was like hearing the cherry on top by the time you reach that third minute…I mean – there’s genuinely a LOT here to love. This band might be built of a more niche style & sound to a degree I suppose…but honestly, it feels like we’re being potentially undersold here – if my own ears are any kind of indication, “Phoenix” stands an incredible chance of making its way to a large audience. Incidentally, it’s also the first everso track to get the ol’ video treatment as well…which of course, is just as…well…it’s just as mysterious and sweetly strange as trying to figure out the rest of what everso might be all about, so yep, it’s a stellar fit. You’ll see a collage of visual oddities, colorful, layered, unique, and just weird enough to catch our attention in the right way to see if we can figure anything else out about everso while we’re listening. “Phoenix” explores a subtle psychedelic visual trip onscreen that makes for yet another dimension of bizarre comfort found at the core of everso’s music, and by the time you’re gliding out into the stars at the end of the video, you’ll probably marvel at it like I did…it’s not a complex moment, but it’s completely the right one to pair with the smooth exit you find at the end of this song. That’s one of the best attributes of the sound in “Phoenix” overall…it’s got this whole dreamlike melody to it…so truly, I’m sayin’ all this with complete sincerity…just simply driftin’ out into the stars over the course of the final minute of this video was an extremely good call, and absolutely the right fit. I love the piano guiding the music of “Phoenix” and it’s another really inventive song from everso that reveals that Alt/Indie charm in really insightful ways. Yeah – I’m very comfortable with an early R.E.M.-meets-Band Of Horses assessment in comparison to the sound of everso…that seems to completely fit the bill – and I love that there’s not a thing you’d hear in these songs that feels directly like a copy of either band. Kind of a master-class on how to borrow from their influences, whatever they may be, without having those influences end up dominating the sound like you find so often in debut records & whatnot, long before a band has the chance to prove they’ve got a defined style or identity of their own, even if that band or artist already reminds you of something similar early on at the start of their career. “Phoenix” will have no problem making an impression through its endearing melody and warm glow that never seems to fade from the spirit & sound of everso…for you Alt/Indie/Lo-Fi fans – I genuinely think you’re gonna fall right in love with this track. Excellent use of the drums on this tune, the vocals are stellar, the hooks are spectacular, and the atmosphere is inviting, welcoming, soothing…all that good stuff. I have no doubt this song will easily sell itself to ya, “Phoenix” reminded me a bit of the vibe I’ve been digging on this year through the music of Slow Coda…and if you read that review, you know everso is keepin’ real good company in my world over here. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it – I think “Phoenix” is the kind of cut that fully reveals just how much everso has a grip on what makes melody sincerely connect.
Maybe that makes me one of the “few” and not part of the “many” – and if that’s the case, so be it! Apparently that makes this record FOR me if I’m reading the title correctly, yes? everso might end up on a totally different page and receive a completely different reaction than the one I have, and rightly so – music should move us in unique ways. Are other people out there gonna say they somehow hear the melody of “I Want Candy” in the verses of “99/90Ten” like I will? Probably not – but that’s also probably because I’m proudly odd myself…I’m just saying, have a listen – you’ll hear it could have potentially become some sort of strange reworked cover through the melodic pattern to the vocals in the verses. Which I ain’t gonna lie, even though it wasn’t some kind of weird cover, once I got past that, I still found the verses of this cut really enjoyable – but I’d definitely be crazy not to just come right out & say it was generally everything outside of the verses that impressed me the most about “99/90Ten.” It’s a complete tune…don’t get it twisted & don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for the removal or change of the verses – they’re a great fit, just more of a sound that I felt like I’d experienced in a few ways throughout the music I’ve heard over time…though I’ll also admit, I really thought the lyricism was brilliantly unique and that was a huge strength in those parts of this song. As for the rest, I felt like it was pure sonic innovation and gripping Indie melodic invention in full bloom – the chorus of “99/90Ten” beams with wild textures and colorful tones…and even on the outside of both this song’s main parts in that verse/chorus regard, you’ll find the instrumentation is all-out sensational and stunningly creative. Production-wise, and mix-wise as well – everso has put in some fantastic moves behind the studio boards to get the maximum out of the dynamics in this cut – in that respect, I felt like the verses were every bit as spectacular – and the shift between the smooth ride through’em to the grit in the artistic design of the chorus was highly effective. Your ears should have no problem at all perking up for the bright treble-up vibes of “99/90Ten” when it hits the power of its chorus & most intense moments…and I’m tellin’ ya…I love things like you’ll hear in the second minute of this song that make it seem like everso is in absolutely no hurry whatsoever, or has any need to do anything blatantly to get our attention. Many of the endings to these songs go out on naturally smooth instrumentation that completely feels like everso is simply following the moment where it organically takes them, and I love that. Despite the odd comparison I’ve made, which I maintain is still strangely valid – I wouldn’t say that the final results on “99/90Ten” came out any less magical for me personally – the solid strengths this song reveals & the freakin’ fantastic use of their production to enhance the sound works perfectly here.
In terms of the musicianship, songwriting, and execution – there’s a lot to appreciate about the way “Rise Above” has been constructed & the mysterious atmosphere that comes along with its lyrical tale. I love the added ambience of the wind you’ll hear at the beginning & end – highly effective – it’s like this whole song drifted into through your window late at night, told you a story, and then vanished into the same thin air it seemed to spring out of. Admittedly, it’s a slow-mover to the nth degree and likely a tougher sell out there to the “many” – but if the album’s intended for the “few” out there anyhow, I’d wager they’re on just as solid of ground as they’ve been throughout the course of these songs so far. Bass-lines get the extra points from me here…and I also loved the vocals in the main hook as they soar straight into the atmosphere – “Rise Above” is a really unique cut on this album that has a ton of multi-dimensional depth to the sound you’ll hear, and even a keyboard solo in the mix for ya along the way. I’d fully get it if “Rise Above” didn’t grab people with nearly the same strength that the opening tracks I’ve commented on already would – but I’d also still argue that those out there looking to experience a song that plays like a great story is told will find the substantial material they’re seeking out in this cut. I suppose what I’m getting at is that “Rise Above” requires a patient listen from our end…and given the typically short attention-spans we’re all running up against these days as artists, there’s no doubt that getting through the length of everso’s longest track might prove to be just as much of a challenge as it would be to get through any given article I write for the very same reasons – hey-o! Ye olde self-burn.
Where I’d advise a bit of potential caution to everso would be in having “Rise Above” and “Waltz Under Moonlight” appear back-to-back…it does make for about nearly nine-minutes straight of fairly sleepy energy, and there’s obviously risk in that. I don’t know that I’ve got the official layout of this record at the moment to begin with, so there’s that – all I know at this point is that there are going to be ten songs in total on For The Few, Not The Many – and assuming there’s still time before the release of the record, they might wanna examine what it might sound like to have some distance between these two particular tunes. In my opinion, they both have their own allure and reasons to dig on’em – I think they’re both still quality tunes, but yes, definitely on the sleepier side of sound and you don’t wanna just risk losing the listeners out there if it could indeed potentially be avoided. With a bit of separation, I think both “Rise Above” and “Waltz Under Moonlight” might get a bit more of the credit these songs deserve overall. Personally, I find the dusty melody of “Waltz Under Moonlight” endlessly fascinating – like, you feel like you can see the particles of this song practically floating in the air around you as everso works its unique melodic magic on ya. It’s a cleverly composed tune when it comes right down to it, and it’s stocked full of inventive percussion, vibrant bass-lines, and atmospheric vibes that sway gently back & forth…call me crazy if you like, but I found this track sensationally hypnotic & straight-up mesmerizing. That added synth sound also deserves a huge amount of credit…some sort of strange organ or maybe even wind instrument through the keyboards? I have no idea exactly what it would be, or what creates it all…I just know what I dig listening to – and “Waltz Under Moonlight” is stocked full of a ton of it – all. To me, this is a perfect example of a natural sound that earns your attention through spectacular songwriting and real ideas…everso is into this moment, locked right into the concept, and executing at a level long-beyond the years this band has been around for, that I can tell ya…”Waltz Under Moonlight” is an understated gem on this record that’s as remarkably controlled as it is creative inside its melodic core. Excellent use of backing vocals as well – it’s like a haunting song in a really beautiful way of its own – very hard to explain, but it’s not the ‘horror’ defined haunting I mean, so much as it’s a melody that’ll cling to your bones & feels like a song you’ve recalled from the deepest recesses of your heart & mind.
I felt a bit more impartial towards the final track I had in this advance sharing of singles from everso’s upcoming record than the rest of the set I suppose…I wasn’t indifferent, but I did feel like I could either take or leave it. “To Love” has a lot going for it in the atmospherically-inclined dreamer’s sense of sound – ultimately, it’s still got a very endearing melody that breaks through, and that’s enticing. Sentiment-wise – I mean…it’s called “To Love” – you can infer from that the kind of content you’ll be in for, and obviously you’re not gonna be listening to any kind of angst-ridden tune. “To Love” is light & airy in its sound & design for the most part, yet also makes great use of layering & bold tones that’ll come surging through at points as well to liven things up a little bit more. I don’t know if it quite reaches that same level of appeal & allure the rest of this set has shown us so far, or has any singular one hook or moment that quite defines it in that memorable way we kinda need…but yeah…really I’ve got no strong objections against it either – “To Love” is built on pleasant sound, through & through. In certain moods, and on some days as I listened, “To Love” was a perfect fit on my playlists and just allowed me to relax the ol’ brainwaves and mellow out for a moment or two…and I had other times where listening to this song felt like it was still missing that one necessary spark somewhere along the way to take it to that next level somehow. It’s kind of like a combination of Styrofoam and Fountains Of Wayne at their most low-key…and I think there’s definitely melodic qualities throughout “To Love” that’ll still have this track surviving in the court of public opinion with a favorable verdict. Think of it this way – I’ve still had plenty of positive things to say about this final cut, even if it’s not my favorite of the bunch – you gotta figure that if that’s the case, everso is on significantly solid ground & onto something undeniably special, 100%.
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