By now,Weary Eyes have proven themselves more than capable of releasing cinematic, guitar-proficient math rock gems just about whenever they feel like it.
As evidenced on 2014’s WWGBBYW, 2015’s How to Leave Places, and yet again on 2018’s True North, the band knows a thing or two about consistency and evolving their sound. So when they announced this year’s self-titled EP, it came to a shock to fans when Weary Eyes also announced they were ditching their heavy, guitar-centric sound for something lighter, airier, and filled with… vocals?
The results are clearly still crafted by the same musicians, but at a distinctly lower dynamic. With far more emphasis on atmosphere, texture, and yes, vocals, listeners are taken on a futuristic post-everything trip. Synth-heavy groovers like “Sleep” and “Enough” split the difference between dance and math not unlike Battles or Foals at times.
The Ghosts & Vodka-style acoustic guitars certainly make an appearance throughout as well, another subtle reminder that we’re still listening to Weary Eyes. Closer “Home” is a triumphant stride into the unknown, and actually steers closest to their previous output, but still manages to fade out in a way that fully represents the overall feeling of the EP.
It will be really interesting to see what might come next from the band. On one hand, they could find a way to meet somewhere in the middle between their old sound and the one found here. On the other, they could keep pushing themselves even deeper through this almost minimalist territory, and who knows what we might find on the other side?
For the most part, the reward for their experimentation is real. It doesn’t sound like they were bored; it just sounds like a different kind of statement for the band entirely. When compared to their old sound, with dozens of guitar parts spread throughout a single song, these four can run together, but perhaps that’s part of the intent. It’s part of creating a new canvas for themselves altogether.
Before we go, however, there is one final thing to discuss: can we just take a moment to literally stare at the cover art in total awe? Is that Faberge? Whatever it is, it does an excellent job as visual counterpart to this EP’s bleak yet beautiful sound.
If you’re looking to add something a little more mellow and vaguely 80’s new wave influenced to your diet, Weary Eyes’ self-titled EP is a fine place to start. Check it out here.