The rock-pop-electronic band The Earlies — whose second album, The Enemy Chorus, comes out on January 23 — is one of those groups that subscribe to the current more-is-more indie-rock aesthetic. Technically only four guys, two Brits and two Texans, are core Earlies, but in practice they’re free-ranging collectivists who routinely gather a dozen or more musician friends and use them all onstage and/or in the recording studio.
It should be a mess, and with many such bands and bandish confederations, it is. But The Earlies’ various ad hoc orchestras tend to miraculously click — and on Enemy they’re often transcendent. The record wows, flutters, rocks, pops, bleeps, and bloops rather gloriously.
Their concerts routinely sell out worldwide and they get invited to play all the coolest music festivals, thanks to the fact that their 2005 debut album was so critically adored. But Enemy outdoes its predecessor with even more sophisticated Pet Sounds–esque studio production — and plenty of surprise. The songs swing from prog-rockish, Moogy aural majesty (“No Love in Your Heart”) to piano-and-drums-driven garage rocking (“When the Wind Blows”).
You won’t hear a more interesting, multi-textured, authentically beautiful pop record this year.
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