On their critically acclaimed third album Get To Heaven, Manchester-based band Everything Everything went from electronic pioneers to political clairvoyants. Predicting events from Brexit to Trump gaining power, the four-piece have showed no sign of leaving their politically charged tracks in the past.
New album A Fever Dream kicks off with 'Night of the Long Knives', a track powerful in every sense of the word. Jonathan Higgs’ falsetto vocal lends itself perfectly to every one of their synth sounds, mixing to give off an air raid siren sound, reminiscent of the sounds that would have echoed around Berlin following what went down on that night in 1934. Perhaps hinting that Donald Trump resembles that of the Nazi dictator of those dark days it's an eerie reminder of the political games we're all threatened by. "The lyrics that stand out for me are 'does it feel like a wave' and 'it feels like a dribbling mouth,' says guitarist Alex Robertshaw. "It’s pointing out these big figures who say this empty shit and when it comes to it, nothing really changes and nothing happens. They can’t do anything and people aren’t going to fall for it."
The album is riddled with dark themes, from racism to war, which, if not partnered with their exquisite musical ability, bouncing drums and pounding guitar riffs, could make the subjects hard to listen to.
Everything Everything have a unique ability to write songs about heavy subjects that are infectious enough to get your head bopping to every beat. "The music has always been fun, that’s the whole point of the band. We don’t want to make people have a bad time, that’s not the idea at all. I just want people to sort of dance and live," says Alex. "I think a great song, you can take off the vocalist and you can listen to and it should be great. We’re not there just to back up the lyrics, there’s a bigger picture."
Politics has been the topic of conversation for nearly everybody over the last couple of years and there’s been a huge swell of input from bands from all over the world. However, does there eventually come a point where fans soon become tired of listening to politically fuelled tracks all the time?
"I don’t think there’s enough people talking about [politics]. I feel like if I turn on the radio, all I hear is this insipid shit," he laughs down the phone line. "I think people should sing about whatever they want to sing about… I’m glad people are wanting to sing about more serious things and not just try to fulfill the brief of what general pop culture wants or whatever."
Their subversive tendancies continues on the song with the best guitar ridd on the album, ‘Ivory Tower’. The band aren’t afraid of anybody and will happily take on anybody from Presidents to keyboard warriors… although you could say they share the same traits these days: "Ivory Tower is about how people can hide behind online personas and control each other, essentially. People arguing on Reddit - that’s what John’s lyrics are coming from, both sides of the argument, and also putting himself in the mix. It’s a very confusing song. You’re saying lots of horrible things but they’re not coming from Jonathan Higgs, they're coming from different people who can hide behind their own madness. And that’s why the song spirals out of control and has the feeling of descending into insanity."
"Is there something wrong with all of this / or is there something wrong with me?" sings Higgs on piano ballad ‘New Deep’, layered with sonics of sadness and thunder. "He’s never been an incredibly positive person," says the guitarist about his frontman. "The first record was more satire. I think as he’s become older, he’s more serious and has started to realise how he feels about things. He’s not happy and he’s got a stage, if you will, where he says what he feels and I’m not going to stop him from doing that."
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The band agree that this "definitely" the best material they have written, an impressive thing to manage following an astonishing oeuvre. But their previous efforts aren’t something that Robertshaw really pays attention to. He tries not to listen to the music they’ve made once it’s released: "I haven’t listened to Arc in years and I haven't really listened to Get To Heaven. Apart from playing them live, I wouldn't listen to the record. When mastering is done, it’s done. Here’s two years of my life stressing out in front of my laptop working out loads of stuff and rearranging songs loads of times. It's just nice once it’s done, that full stop is really nice. I can actually just go into buy folder of demos and delete them all and start new things, it’s a bit more exciting that way."
Of releasing new music Robertshaw says, "You never know what to expect." But it’s clear with the continuing cycle of perplexing politics keeping their pockets lined with lyrical gold, paired with their endless options of new synth sounds, the four-piece will keep on filling your ears with all that manic goodness for time to come, so we won't worry about the wait, and enjoy this stellar new album from one of the UK's most inspiring bands.