Arts

Indie pop-rockers Everything Everything are a big deal in the UK but remain relatively obscure here across the Atlantic. Photo: Courtesy of RCA.

Why you haven’t heard it

Everything Everything are one of those British indie pop/rock bands that received tons of buzz in the music press of their home country, but never fully transferred that success across the Atlantic. Their third album, 2015’s Get to Heaven, was lauded by many British publications, (including five-star reviews from Q and The Telegraph) and hit the top 10 on the UK Albums Chart. Meanwhile, the album failed to chart at all in the U.S. or Canada and received fewer, more lukewarm reviews stateside. It eventually gained somewhat of a foothold here through online word-of-mouth, but the album is still a ways away from more mainstream acceptance in North America.

Why it might be tough to get through

The first thing you’ll probably notice is singer Jonathan Higgs’ dramatic voice, which, when paired with his prominent British accent and fondness for high notes, can be pretty overwhelming at first, although it does grow on you eventually. However, once you’ve gotten past the voice, then you’ll have to deal with the lyrics. Despite the colourful cover art and poppy sound, the lyrics on Get to Heaven are extremely bleak. They’re filled with obtuse references to ISIS, mass shootings, political corruption, and general cynicism about the current state of affairs. It’s easy to see how such unrelenting darkness could rub listeners the wrong way.

Why you should listen to it anyway

Beyond all the lyrical doom and gloom, Get to Heaven has everything you could want in a pop album. The production is slick and glossy but still full of creative left turns like the slow-burning synths of “No Reptiles” and the summery, Talking Heads-esque guitars on the title track; the album has so many sticky melodies that you’ll get a new song stuck in your head with each listen. And the aforementioned vocals and lyrics, while initially off-putting, add a great deal of personality and unpredictability to the music. This album is airtight, with no filler and plenty of variety to keep things from getting stale. With Get to Heaven, Everything Everything unleash all the wickedness of the modern world and still make it sound like a party.

Fun facts

  • The band has cited Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, The Simpsons, and synth-punk pioneers Suicide as influences on Get to Heaven.
  • The album was initially titled “Gimme the Gun”, but the band chose a more uplifting title to balance out the grim lyrics.
  • All four of the music videos released from the album were directed by the band’s singer Jonathan Higgs.

Best lines and songs

“Maybe I’m a human/A ‘trying-to-click-‘undo’ man’/Or maybe an automaton/Oh how’d it all go so wrong?” (“Regret.”)

“They tell me there’s a pharaoh in town/And now the town has gone to the dogs/They tell me he’s a household name/Only no one’s got a house anymore” (“Zero Pharaoh.”)

“I’m going to kill a stranger/So don’t you be a stranger” (“No Reptiles.”)