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Famously known for their rather suspect lyrics: ‘who’s going to sit on your fence (it definitely sounds like face…) when I’m gone?’ Manchester-based band, Everything Everything, return with their second album, Arc. After an absolute stormer of a first album, Man Alive (2010), one began to wonder what direction EE would turn in next.

 You may have heard the two recent promoted releases, ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Kemosabe’, and unsurprisingly this is what EE have opened the album with. It’s a strong start and shows how the synthy-quartet have retained their rooted Math-pop sound, and yet still find new melodies and avenues to explore.

 With Arc, they’ve managed to develop a more established and deep sound while still having fun. There’s a sort of darker undertone to it all, but it’s still uplifting, and you can really track the changes and advances from Man Alive.

 Songs like ‘Undrowned’ and ‘Torso Of The Week’ are two examples of where Everything Everything seem to have lost a level of their innocence. The songs promote bleak outlooks that pull the band in a completely new, more mature direction. But then, with others, such as Duetthe tone is different – it is uplifting, emanating a sense of positivity. We’re met by beautifully orchestrated violins in this track – finely replicating the math- pop-esque staccato guitar used so commonly in Man Alive.

 Fans of the last album will be pleased to hear the dramatic, long held, falsetto notes by singer Jonathan Higgs are still a large part of this groups sound. Most of us still can’t understand a word he’s saying, and yet this isn’t an issue. These are not boring vocals: they are passionate and Higgs still puts his all into every song. They exude energy and really contribute to the thick, layered sound.

 Everything Everything are definitely one of those bands who grow on you the more you listen to them. Every time I hear their original album that I fell in love with two years ago, I notice something new about a song, whether that be an understated and yet masterfully complex bassline, or an engaging harmony against a fast pumped drum beat, there is always something new to enjoy – after all this is a band whose complex layering is so fundamental to their sound.

 Arc is a considered album – the sound has been developed, honed in, it’s bleaker and yet the band still appear to be having fun with their writing. This may be a tactic to break into a larger market, after being nominated for the Mercury Prize, by making their sound more approachable to the masses, and even if it is, it doesn’t matter. Arc is arguably just as good, if not better, than the first album. Would I recommend this release? A hundred times yes. Go out. Buy it. Enjoy it…

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