Eisley – Currents
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Record Label: Equal Vision
Last time we checked in with Eisley, the band was exploring the deep space with its very good extended play of the same name. During the time between that and its latest Equal Vision release, Currents, a lot has happened internally and externally. Some things stayed the same (the band recorded once again in its home studio; they still have an ear for incredibly melodies and hooks), some changed, at least in each member’s personal life (there were a lot of babies in the studio; the band is facing controversy from its failed Kickstarter campaign). But forget all that for now, as the only thing that matters is if the DuPree gang would continue its trend of releasing atmospheric indie-pop gems.
Eisley returned from space with many new ideas and took that sense of exploration into the sea with its fourth full length, Currents, which contains some of the band’s enchanting compositions yet. An adventurous guitar riff, ominous keys, and spine-tingling harmonies pace the title track – a bold introduction of the LP’s twelve tracks. “Blue Fish” and “Drink The Water” are two fantastic additions to the band’s whimsical discography; 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.
The pace is picked up with the dynamic “Save My Soul,” which is led by Sherri DuPree-Bemis’ fiery vocals and underscored by relentless guitar riff. It’s a ferocious, upbeat number with an incredible crescendo of harmonies in its bridge (listen closely and you’ll notice none other than Max Bemis). It’s one of Currents many highlights, along with the delightfully folky “Millstone” (Chauntelle DuPree-D’Agostino's first full-song solo lead vocal performance) and jaunty “Lost Enemies,” the latter being an example of staccato excellence.
The quintet indulges a little bit on “Wicked Child” (featuring contributions by Merriment - another Equal Vision band featuring the younger DuPree siblings, Christie and Collin), but it’s hard to hate a track with so many delightful embellishments. In fact, the second half of the album takes somewhat of a backseat to the excellent first six songs of Currents (“Find Me Here” and “Wonder English” are forgettable), but tracks like the eerily beautiful “The Night Comes” is right in the band’s wheelhouse, as DuPree-Bemis assured vocals feel at home with the creeping acoustic chords, distant handclaps, and stirring string flourishes.
Having complete freedom and reign with this record, Eisley was able to take its musical element to richer and grander heights. And with life happening all around them, that freedom was essential in creating yet another fantastic album. Just one listen to the extravagant “Shelter” - Currents’s rousing final bow – and you really start to appreciate the journey the DuPree clan has taken over the past ten-plus years, as Room Noises-era Eisley could never composed a song as complex and sophisticated without it becoming too convoluted. And despite the current outside distraction, the lush Currents will undoubtedly outlast it and wash it into the sea.
I've never been a large Eisley fan, but I enjoy this record. It's a pretty sounding album and is nice for this time of year. Not sure how much I'll spin it in the future, but it's definitely a nice release for the year.