Swedish quintet offer up wave-breaking percussion, delicate piano; set to themes about 'a plan that completely backfired'. Intrigue and fascination follow.
Eddie is available at:
BEING one that does not subscribe to, or believe in a predetermined...
universe, predicting musical trends and sensation is a hard task. I have always erred on the side of caution and pure science. As much as I believe that the world is determined by random events, and there is no control over people's action- there is no fate, destiny, God, or karma- things that happen in the future are impossible to predict, and dictated by human events and interaction, not some predestined structure or path. There are some that stick to falibilism; some approximation; others agnosticism, but for me, it is insane to think that everything has been worked out in advance. It is a cosy theory to believe in fate and destiny; thinking that everything that occurs- be it bad or good- was meant to happen, and it will lead to bigger things. Being one whom has had a lot more bad occur in his life, reality and logic beats those kind of theories clean out of you. I have no time or consideration for people whom stick to the notion that things happen for a reason, and control is ultimately down to a higher being or force; not human beings. It is a naive and flawed assumption, and has massive holes that you cannot ignore. Truth, and to a lesser degree, solipsism are the best courses of belief, as they offer facts and certainty, rather than theories and uncertainty. If one lives their lives in control of their own future, and does not hold out for some cockamamie idea of a higher power or spiritual force, then things will be a lot better for everyone. This is a paradigm that can be applied to the music business. There seems to be an unbinding sense, amongst media, critics and fans, that great new music is the result of a predetermined path; that the current state of music is pulling strings, and causing a wave of new and exciting talent. Too little consideration and wisdom is being applied to hard work, and a solid work ethic. Music, as much as any industry, is subject to a great degree of fickleness and volatility. Fans change their mind and opinions with each blow of the wind; critics can raise a band on a pedestal after hearing their debut; knocking them into a tar pit upon its follow-up. Unrealistic expectations, ridiculous standards and belligerence seem to dictate the mandates and themes of modern critics; each of whom never seem to be satisfied. A lot of the problem with current music, is that the first moves are often underwhelming and unambitious. In 2013, after decades of varied and diverse music, it is not good enough to simply be cautious or even great- thinking that that will get you noticed and highlighted. Too often I have felt that new musicians thing that the universe will look after them; that because they put effort into their songs, naturally that will see them through. As will success in life, musical plaudit relies a lot of genetics as well as luck, but above all, imagination, incredible hard graft and determination is needed. Acts and solo artists will be buried and forgotten about if their sapling moves are not spectacular: how many of the greatest albums of this year were made by brand-new acts? International air, and a welcoming landscape goes a long way to fostering creative brilliance, and a sense of movement. I have encountered a lot of U.K.-based acts that have suffered from reduced imagination and potency, because of the stresses and anxieties of the city. London is not producing a huge host of great music, in part due to the bustling and vulnerability nature of the city. It is not a coincidence that the best music (in the U.K.) emanated further north; into Scotland, and more arable and less congested climbs. If a busy city is willing to support musicians and provide them inspiration, then great creativity can be fostered. New York artists such as Sophia Bastian and Chalk And Numbers are based in New York; enlivened by the huge array of music cafes, bars and venues the city has to offer: this leads to a resurgence of creativity and determination in them. I feel that London, and even Liverpool and Manchester are not making great strides to inspire inspiration and creative energy; where as other European neighbours are.
Sweden is a fascinating country, that is an ideal location for the struggling or new musician. Aside from the busier locales, the nation has inspiring landscapes and gorgeous scenes, that can invigorate and relax. Hailing from Stockholm, Everywhere are a band that are proving my points. Although they emanate from the nation's capital, there is no sense of anxiety about their ambitious and sound. They have worked hard and fervently to put their music together, and haven't relied on existential force and guidance; choosing to knuckle-down and work hard. The band are noted for their uncompromising desires, and the boys strive to hit hearts and minds hard. The five-piece are looking to redefine the term 'indie'; taking it away from its current definition: bands that can portray interesting sounds, yet seem to be lacking punch, imagination and diversity. The band consists of front-man Max Berga; pianist Filip Severinson; drummer Alexander Heige; Marcel Karlsson on lead guitars, and Mikael Ingegaard on bass. One gets the sense that a huge amount of time and effort has been spent honing their sounds; and it is perhaps not surprising that recently the group have supported Palma Violets and Django Django. I have witnessed a great raft of European talent coming through lately, from Everywhere's countrymates Club 8- with their bright and infectious disco gems- through to some great folk movements coming out of EIRE. There seems to be a different set of rules and expectations in Europe, as opposed to the U.K. Here, due to the huge mass of new acts, there tends to be less need to redefine genres and lazy tributing; too many bands and artists that sound exactly like someone else; too few spectacular and epoch-defining sounds; and above all, poor bonds in social media. Often I have stumbled upon a great act by accident. In an information age, there is still a great weakness when it comes to connecting bands and fans; reviewers and great music. There is no one website that offers an extensive and unimpeachable connection between music and fans; and none that offer connections for a new musician, hoping to recruit a band. It is wholly achievable and feasible, yet has not been achieved in the U.K.- and it really does not to happen soon. Also here, critics and a lot of band managers provide little long-term care to a group. Many acts get lost in the cracks, as fickleness and lack of consideration take effect; managers, labels and representatives tend to put initial effort in; yet seem less concerned with taking care of their artist, and ensuring that their every step is watched carefully. Our Swedish wonders have a terrific label and management behind them, and have not been buried amongst a wave of new acts and artist, each trying to claw their wave to the surface. This lack of subjugation and pressure has made them focus inwards; concentrating on their sound, and driving themselves to achieve and win over a large fan base. Reviewers have noted, universally, that their sound is incredibly tight and focused; and that their live performances are spectacular and memorable. Their tracks tend to be original as well: in terms of theme and sound. Too many bands paint generic pictures of love-gone-bad-what-shall-I-ever-do? themes; bereft with mundane platitudes and pedestrian lyrics. Everywhere have a keen eye for sharp lyrics, drawing in personal experiences (that differ from the norm); tying it together with their electrifying sounds and colours, to create something striking and bold.
The history of Eddie is an interesting one. Berga wrote the song, after his girlfriend got sucked into the murky and cut-throat world of fashion; basing the song around her events; where she was (unfortunately) 'used and abused'; resulting in a 'plan that completely backfired'. The track was recorded within the majesties and uncertainties of Los Angeles: a city that is a popular destination for recording artists, in terms of inspiration and incredible recording facilities. Our song in question begins with some rather pervasive and persistent drums; joined with distorted and ghostly guitars, and taut bass. I detected some hints of early-career Supergrass: a mixture of I Should Coco and In It for the Money's adventurous spirit, with a little of Supergrass' brooding nature. Where as a lot of bands would begin with clattering, noise and as much punch as is possible, Everywhere sprinkle the mood with subtlety, delicacy and an ever-building weight that gets stronger and stronger. Atmosphere is summoned and a sense of mid-late '90s alternative rock, mixed with some modern-day indie styling; mix beautifully. The intro. provides anticipation and intrigue; you are never sure what is coming next; compelled as you are to hang on to every note. When the vocal comes in, it is not rushed or overly-urgent- it is begins restrained and brooding. Our front-man tells of "All this time spent with you"; his voice dripping with conviction and intent, recalling that it has been worthwhile, but also "so frustrating". The thoughts and evocations are supported by that percussive flair, which works away in the background; unflinching and perseverant, eliciting a solid and weighty strike. Tension builds in the track, as our hero says: "Show them what you've got"; which invariably involves a striking message: "Take your skirt off". As the song is inspired by our front-man's ex-girlfriend, and her ill-advised foray into fashion and modelling; your mind is taken there: on a studio floor, in front of cameras, a reluctant and nervous woman being ordered to 'perform' for the camera. Berga's voice has an emotional weight to it, where you are not sure if he feels sympathy for his former love, or a little contempt: there is a matter-of-fact poker-faced quality initially that adds mystery to the words. Just as you are enveloping your senses in the measured calm and seduction of the music, the chorus explodes into life. Berga's voice growls and ignites, proclaiming: "Eddie!/Get out of here!", his voice trembling slightly; now bursting and bellowing with emotion and foreboding. The band are up to the task as well, infusing the mood with rumbling percussion, tight and measured bass and guitar, and impassioned piano. As it is advised that the ill-fated heroine: "Go hide your tears", the band whip up a sparkling and heady gallop that digs and wallops in equal measures. Berga has some refreshing influences- intentional or not- in his vocal tones; bit of early-Placebo as well as a hint of Ash, mixed with up-to-the-moment indie evocations. Whereas Everywhere's contemporaries are too concerned with force and rabble; Berga gives a more considered approach, quivering and softly prophesising during the verses, whilst unleashing a pained Jim Morrison-esque bellow during the choruses. It is a blend that lifts the track and keeps it constantly fascinating. There is no need for histrionics or trying to sound like someone familiar; his tones and projection is his (and the band's) own, and supersedes any expectations you would have of an indie-style track. A little bit of Simple Minds/U2 lurks underneath the skin of the sonic sway, which heralds more thought-provoking words: "What could have been/If you had moved/To your hideout" is sung, inflected, twisted and tempted, so that every word hits the mark. As the song progresses, there is a sense of empathy and sympathy to proceedings. Whether it was the intention to portray the heroine as a sympathetic character is unsure, but you find yourself rooting for her. The chorus has a drive and urgency to it, which makes you imagine our hero running in, grabbing her by the hand, and taking her home as soon as possible- whether this is deliberate, once again, is down to Berga. The chorus is particularly strong musically; as the band employ a tempting and tantalising piano line that adds some light and romance; bolstered by and differentiated from the clashing drums and harsher guitar and bass. Our front-man seems to be watching events unfold from above, seemingly viewing events as they happen; seeing everything as it unravels. "If you can't find your way out of here/Then maybe those flashing lights/May lead you there" sums up the song's core values and intentions; it invokes the chaos and prurience of the fashion world; marred and dressed in proclivities. You get the sense that the heroine, throughout, regrets her decisions and is seeking a fast way out; restrained as she is by the seedy figures that try to control her. It is the urgency and potency with which the band present their words, that gives such vivid life to their tales: bursting with sights, smells and sounds that put you in the mind of our author, as well as Eddie. There arrives a (albeit) brief rest bite; the mood is calmed and sedated, as Berga composes his thoughts. "If it ain't right/If they don't care" and "What comes to mind/It does seem fair" are sung, hooked to the coda: "Those flashing lights/May lead you there"; suggesting that maybe there is not total sympathy in our hero's heart- self-fulfilling prophecy and finger-wagging mixes with cautionary tale and incendiary warning bells. It is the sense of mystery that continues; making you wonder, and asking yourself questions: how much is this is a song of judgement? How much of it suggests empathy for our heroine? How does our hero feel about what has happened to her? At the 2:24 the scene changes; harder-edged and heavier guitars grumble and burst in, rolling like an avalanching snowball; before the striking and clashing percussion joins in, welcoming the arrival of the chorus.
As well as the unique subject matter of the song, Everywhere are a band that understand the importance of projection and emotion. The band are consistently tight throughout, and are able to tempt a great deal of atmosphere and intrigue. Percussion is dominant and impressive throughout; clattering, rumbling and firing relentlessly, yet able to temporise and seduce when needed. Similarly piano codas have a driving quality to them, and add colour and light as well as darker shades too. Bass and guitar are impressively strong as well as impressively understated. They hold the track firm and give it a solid backbone, yet never become too dominant or overwhelming. Each of the boys plays their roles perfectly, and never do too much or too little; instead everything is finely balanced and wonderfully composed. This creates a fresh and original song, that will not have you making comparisons with any other act out there. Indie bands tend to be too guitar and drum-heavy; rarely able to present compositions that are musically rewarding as well as intelligent; still there is an emphasis towards force and meandering riffs and diversions. The fact that the track sticks in your memory is part down to the great band performance, but also down to Berga, whom has a strong and enthralling voice. His tones have the slightest flecks of '90s U.S. (Placebo) as well as '80s Scotland (Simple Minds), yet has a strong and native accent that is all its own. It is an instrument able to almost whisper in the verses; pull you in and calm your sense; yet climb and fire during the choruses. The lyrics are impressive as well, capable of painting some sharp and- at times- unsavoury scenes, as well as tie that in with a chorus that has both an anthemic sing-along quality, as well as a more emotional and thought-provoking depth. In my mind, I was following the words; building up scenes in my mind- trying to picture what our heroine looked like, and how she moved. The sense of flashing lights and chaos is persistent and the key theme; building a sense of fear and uncertainty. I would like to imagine that the heroine was a likeable woman who made a bad choice, and got a lot worse than she deserved. At times the lyrics suggest that our hero feels sympathy and sadness for her; yet at intervals there may be some lingering resentment and reticence. Such is the power of the song writing and performance that one may be over-thinking or throwing red herrings into the mix. What is clear is that the Swedish five-piece have a clear knack for melody, musicianship and evocation; able to breathe life into a genre that is in danger of mass homogenisation and a drought of inspiration. The band's E.P. is due for release later in the year, and the guys will be entering a market that has a lot of players and contenders, all hoping to remain in the public consciousness for as long as possible. Most will fall and fail of course; whilst many more will have a limited lifespan. If Stockholm's Everywhere keep their ethics and morals strong and unpolluted, then they will be able to inhale rarefied air. First steps are the most important, and if you put a foot wrong, it is incredibly difficult to climb back. The band are relentless and hard-working; knowing that success is not destined nor will be handed to them: this leads to tracks like Eddie. It is a track that will appeal to the indie sect, as well as capable of cross-pollinating and drawing in different sectors of music-lovers. Alive with emotion, intrigue and melody, it will stick in your mind and leave you wanting more from the boys. But fear not...
THEY'LL be more soon, and it will certainly worth the wait.