Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Eisley

I thought I'd never heard of Eisley. My always-thoughtful daughter surprised me with those tix to Copeland, a band we had both loved (and hated) for a long time. We got to the TLA a couple songs into the Eisley set, but it wasn’t until "Smarter" that I realized I should have paid more attention to the opening act. Not long ago, Urban Outfitters offered a free selection of downloads each month of upcoming alternative bands (LSTN#), and did so with great finesse. I was introduced to Blood Surfer, Lasser, Of Montreal, Department of Eagles, Human Highway, and, as it turns out, Eisley. 

Once I've delved into a concert experience I usually find myself immersed in a band, and such was the case the other night. Although I subsequently listened to all the Copeland songs from the playlist and several more, let's say incessantly (and really didn't need to listen at all; the songs so indelible etched in my head), I found a few moments to cuddle up with Eisley, watching the "Smarter" video, as well as "Telescope Eyes," and, late last night, the house quiet and still, listening to the band's most recent effort Currents.

An adventurous guitar riff, ominous keys, and spine-tingling harmonies pace the title track – a bold introduction to the LP's twelve tracks. "Blue Fish" and "Drink The Water" are two fantastic additions to the band's whimsical discography (which, joyfully, I have yet to hear the majority); each one layered with simmering strings, thick bass lines, and Stacy King's intricate piano work. The latter is a luscious journey that, along with the title track, captures the very essence of Currents.

Great Graphics
The pace is accelerated with the dynamic "Save My Soul," led by Sherri DuPree-Bemis' fiery vocals and underscored by relentless a guitar riff. It's one of Currents many highlights, along with the delightfully folky "Millstone" and the jaunty "Lost Enemies," the latter an example of staccato brilliance.

The quintet over-indulges itself a bit on "Wicked Child," but it's hard to scold a track with so many delightful embellishments. Having complete freedom and reign with this record, Eisley was seemingly able to take its aesthetic to richer and grander heights (than what little I have heard). And with life happening all around them (it seems several of them had children, and there was controversy over a Kickstart campaign), that freedom was essential in creating a fantastic album. Just one listen to the extravagant "Shelter" - Currents's rousing finale – and you will truly really appreciate the journey the DuPree clan has taken us on. A grand combination of Cocteau Twins and Straylight Run, Eisley (once I get over my Copeland thing), will certainly be my next focus. (BTW, a quick Wiki lookup confirmed that the band’s name derives from Star Wars’ Mos Eisley. How cool is that?)



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