Little xs for Eyes – Everywhere Else album review

Little xs for Eyes - Everywhere Else album review

Dublin based alternative pop ensemble Little xs for Eyes stormed onto the scene with the release of their debut album S.A.D. in 2011. Garnering praise from the likes of Hot Press and The Irish Times, band members Bennie Reilly, Davey Moor, Michelle Considine, Ed Costello, Rayne Booth and Harry Bookless have been enjoying a busy and successful few years since.

2014 saw the band return to the studio to put together their sophomore effort, Everywhere Else, which landed on Bandcamp on April 13th. The record fades in amid the sound of birds chirping before the cheery riff and jovial melody of “Phantom Wings” take off. Loaded with boisterous instrumental cues, it’s a wild and raucous opening that has a bright and sunny disposition. As it winds down, it transitions into the light and airy guitars of “Love Gets Lost”, which preface a fast and fun verse. It’s another merry and innocuous number with an enthusiastic execution.

A warm and relaxing musical introduction gets “Sleeping Hearts” going ahead of a pleasant harmony. There’s a calming quality to its bassy rhythm and gentle instrumentation that’s quite soothing. It’s followed by vivid vocals which unfold nonchalantly as “Summer Stay” gradually grows and gets busier. This dainty composition adopts a little bit of an electric flair via sparkling synths that rear their heads between verses.

“Logical Love” speeds into an infectious bass line, purposeful percussion and bracing electronics, paving the way for some spirited vocals. The whole thing carries a strong club vibe that seems well suited to encouraging people onto a dance floor. “Dusky Seaside Sparrow” serves as a brief interlude afterwards, during which the bird song of the beginning returns. This leads to “Funk Island”, which erupts with a penetrating choir-like chorus that’s soon joined by a cool and collected riff. It becomes more characterful as it progresses, adding in a plethora of elements while the resonant vocals allow it a fairly ethereal ambience at times.

“Loser Leaves Town” erupts out of its aftermath upon an urgent beat and synths that charge along behind a resounding harmony. Staying consistently active and animated, there’s a sense of serenity to the piece throughout. “Nearer to Nowhere” succeeds it with unusual effects and a jolly vocal tone that combine to make it the most unique and glitzy offering on the album. The almost entirely instrumental “Disko Bay” sails in next, acting as an eight and a half minute psychedelic behemoth of a finale.

Little xs for Eyes have adopted a harmless and inoffensive style whose attitude is very unconcerned and contented. The original and singular approach that Everywhere Else takes to pop music carries a sugary sweet undertone that makes it suitable for listeners of all ages.

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com