[Recommended if you like: Copeland, Straylight Run, The Hush Sound]
The last few years have been a growing season for Eisley. The recording of their newest album Currents is their first time self-recording and self-producing an album. In addition to their new album credits, 4 of the 5 members of the band have welcomed a child into their family. With a lot of change happening in a short amount of time, the band had the possibility of opening themselves up to some harsh criticism. A large amount of criticism came about when they decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to support their decision to tour with Say Anything during the summer. Many people thought asking fans to not only give a band money to tour but to also be expected to still buy tickets to a show was an abuse of a campaign. Over 1,000 backers seemed to disagree, with one giving at least $4,000 to help support the band. Regardless of your stance on Eisley’s Kickstarter campaign, or Kickstarter campaigns in general, the show(s) must go on, and they will.
For fans of former albums, Currents may seem to come from a different thread. Their previous release, The Valley, had a much stronger rock feel and seemed to follow more of a common theme. This release is much more scattered, ranging in piano driven songs like “Real World” and “Shelter”, acoustic guitar led songs like “Find Me Here” and “Millstone”, or even the cool bass line heavy song “Lost Enemies.” The common denominator in the album is the constant and well placed strings by engineer Jeremy Larson.
The title track opens the album with a very aquatic atmosphere, which is very fitting when listening to the opening lyrics: “I would part the waters if you said so, I would shift the currents if you had to row.” While the electric guitar and rock feel is lingering around in the back of the song, it never quite breaks out into a full out rock song, which seems to be the step they are trying to move towards with this record.
While the music has definitely taken a different direction for Eisley, one thing that has not changed is their ability to harmonize so well together. There is something magical that happens when you take siblings, who often have similar vocal inflection and tone, and have them harmonize together. Song after song, you hear one eerily perfect harmony after another.
Despite have several standout tracks, Currents had a few songs that had trouble picking up traction, such as “Wonder English” and “The Night Comes.” These tracks felt to stall the feel that the rest of the album was trying to provide.
Although change and growth can certainly be good in the long run for a band, Currents still felt like it was lacking something that was unexplainable. Perhaps it’s as simple as not being prepared for a change in sound, but it is definitely fair to say that Eisley is not going anywhere soon and will be putting out more great records for years to come.
Written by Matthew Moore
OurVinyl | Contributor