Whilst it is a ‘quirky’ fact that it has taken Even As We Speak 27 years to record this sophomore album, the quirk only garners interest when contextualized by the fact that the Sydney based five-piece have still managed to garner something of a cult status in this period of dormancy.
Thankfully they are back as fully formed adults. Rather than making the same mistakes as many reformed acts, they imbue this album with middle-aged minor travails of bill paying, struggling to come to terms with a communications driven world and the realisation that they are much nearer death than birth. It’s not as ‘gloriously mental’ as their 1993 Feral Pop Frenzy debut. Nor should it be. For this is the 2020 version of the band and anything else harping to yesteryear, would be spurious.
This extra maturity is represented in a generally dulcet tempo and a sense of cinematic. This essence enables the accentuation of every indie-pop note, every twee-pop side course and the subtle flutter of the jangled melodies seen in stand outs like Child, Blind and Sun to radiate. Equally important, is that this sense of ‘subtle ‘provides the perfect vehicle for Mary Wyer‘s sumptuous vocals to act as a beautiful foundation to the entire album.
As succinctly cited in the release bio, the cult status of this act was undoubtedly arrived at virtue of their tendency to “defy pop contentions” and there is certainly still such a characteristic present.
Tracks like Someone and Signs startle with their dank, electro-pop nuances, Leaves is almost Death by Chocolate level twee-pop and Stronger takes the act into bouncing 60 girl-pop territories. They are all very un-Even As We Speak-like, but then, Even As We Speak have ousually been very un-everything.
Hopefully, the critical acclaim that will undoubtedly be afforded to this release, will signal a plethora of new releases and we will not have to wait another 27 years for their left field, jangly indie-pop tales of arthritis, grown up grandkids, zimmerframes and stair lifts. If we do though…I bet it’s still great !!!
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