Every so often a band will absolutely shatter my expectations. Usually when this happens, the band cracks the mold with a strike of lightening and then their next offering assembles a different mold to craft their next project around. But rarely, once a band shatters my expectations, they come back for another round and shock and awe me further.
Eisley is that exception.
They are quite literally exceptional. They defy critics, major label success, pop nuance and the every preconception I can image. In all of this, Eisley does it with an ethereal vibrance and other-worldly grace. There isn’t a category for their sound, it strides indecisively between categories as if those categories are words made to hold down lesser mortals.
With The Valley, brought crunchy guitar riffs to melodic song-stylings, as well as stories of heartbreak transforming into healing. It’s a beautiful album, I listened to it constantly for weeks and weeks. Quite honestly it was a clear front-runner for my favorite album of 2011 (next to Broken Bells first album). You can measure how remarkable that album is with the number of times it carried me days at school that would’ve otherwise seemed endless and nighttime walks where I seemed to float just above the sidewalk. I was pretty sure they’d reached the end of some alchemical magic or have dried the well of their own brilliance or worse touched the ends of beauty.
So then I heard about Currents, in my a cynical spell I was pretty damn sure lightening wouldn’t strike twice.
I was right, that lightening couldn’t strike twice. But with Currents, lightening didn’t need to strike twice. They planted, grew and harvested this masterpiece with their own hands. Eisley released this record through Equal Vision Records, who gave them the control they needed to craft this record with pride. They even produced this record themselves (a first for Eisley).
On the whole, they strayed a little bit from the edge they brought to The Valley and let their melodic song crafting blossom and flourish in the best ways. They glide through falsettos and hammer through bass lines on “Save My Soul”. With tracks like “Currents” and “Drink the Water” it’s as if they’re intentionally toying with how wonderful they can craft something.
I’m spending too much time being poetic about this record. The bottom line is that it’s fantastic, it’s everything I’ve ever hoped for from a good record. Currents is one of the most well-crafted records Eisley has ever made and I hope they make so many more.