Everything Everything : Mountainhead Review
Everything Everything, known for their innovative approach in the progressive-pop and electronica genre, is releasing their seventh studio album, Mountainhead, on March 1, 2024. Following the creatively ambitious Raw Data Feel, this album dives into themes of societal obsession and existential angst. The album was written, recorded, and produced by the members of Everything Everything in Stockport, with guitarist Alex Robertshaw playing a significant role in the production. The band comprises Jonathan Higgs as the lead vocalist, Jeremy Pritchard on bass and backing vocals, Alex Robertshaw on guitar and backing, and Michael Spearman on drums, percussion, and backing vocals.
Mountainhead is a synthetic pop album that explores themes of capitalism and social fracturing from a futuristic perspective. The album revolves around a unique and creative concept. It tells the story of a fictional world where society is intensely focused on constructing a colossal mountain. However, this ambition comes at a cost, as they need to excavate a vast hole to gather materials for the mountain, forcing them to reside in this hole. This narrative serves as a metaphor for broader societal issues, particularly those related to the consequences of unchecked ambition and capitalist forces.
“Cold Reactor” immediately captivates with its vibrant energy. The song is a symphony of modern electronic music, blending synths, samples of female voices rhythmically creating a pad, and subtle guitar lines with full, flowing drums. This creates an upbeat and joyous dance-pop beat, inviting listeners to the dance floor.
The song’s tempo, clocking in around 156 bpm, injects it with a life-affirming energy. The multiple layers of synths, backing vocals, driving bass, and drums all contribute to the forward motion, creating a lively and rich soundscape.
Lyrically, “Cold Reactor” dives deep into societal challenges and the impact of technology on personal connections, providing a rich exploration that complements its energetic sound. Higgs’ performance is a standout element – vibrant and clear, with warm and engaging tones that align perfectly with the music’s upbeat nature. The added backing vocals enrich the track, creating a chorus that resonates with listeners.
The production quality of “Cold Reactor” is a testament to the band’s meticulous attention to detail. Each sound is full and rich, contributing to a soundscape that’s not just heard but felt, making “Cold Reactor” a joy to listen to and a perfect introduction to the album’s thematic journey.
Showing another musical texture, “The Mad Stone” takes the listener on a different path. The song structure blends traditional and experimental, featuring verses, choruses, captivating post-choruses, a bridge, and an outro. This structure gives the song an exciting flow, guiding the listener through its narrative.
The emotional tone of “The Mad Stone” is a fusion of energetic world music and electronica. The verses are accentuated with world-beat percussion, while the chorus introduces an interesting counterpoint between the lead vocals and falsetto backing vocals. The feel of the chorus moves into the progressive pop vibe. The post-chorus is built around an active rhythmic motif in the vocals and has an electronic dance feel, and the bridge showcases the Higgs’ strong vocal skills and solid falsetto singing. This composition evokes feelings of intrigue and exploration, drawing the listener deeper into the album’s themes.
Thematically, “The Mad Stone” expands upon the societal critiques introduced in “Cold Reactor.” It delves deeper into the album’s narrative, offering new perspectives on the themes of societal obsession and the relentless pursuit of progress. With its unique blend of sounds and thoughtful lyrics, this song adds significant depth to the album’s overarching story.
While “Cold Reactor” introduces the album’s themes with an energetic and critical lens, “The Mad Stone” dives deeper, offering a more complex exploration of the album’s conceptual world. Both tracks showcase the band’s skill in blending thought-provoking lyrics with compelling musical arrangements.
The album stands out for its high production quality. The clear separation of instruments and vocals creates a layered, immersive listening experience, highlighting the band’s attention to detail.
As a listener, the album offers a captivating journey through its thematic complexity and musical innovation. The tracks are intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant, reflecting Everything Everything’s gift in creating music that challenges and entertains.
Mountainhead is a testament to Everything Everything’s ability to craft a concept album that is as thought-provoking as it is enjoyable. Mountainhead is set to release on March 1, 2024, through BMG, marking it as a highly anticipated work given the band’s innovative history.
March 1, 2024