8 years since the release of their break-through album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, and 5 years since their last album Smart Flesh, American indie-folk band The Low Anthem have certainly been through some ups and downs. Now the band have released their fifth studio album Eyeland, displaying a much different edge to their music than what their previous albums did. Encompassing elements of indie-rock, ambient and experimental-ism, we see The Low Anthem starting to evolve their sound, whilst still encompassing the many elements that helped make their music so lovely in the first place.
Eyeland is a much different beast to previous albums by The Low Anthem, which seems to stray away from the indie-folk roots of its predecessors. On Oh My God, Charlie Darwin and Smart Flesh we’ve seen hints at a more manic and fast-paced Low Anthem. On Eyeland, this seems to have culminated into more of a freak-out style, with experimental notions bringing more out of these rockier tracks. There’s a wonderful cohesion to the album, which brings together these rockier tracks with experimental drone interludes that help to paint the overarching story-line of the album itself. It’s not what one would expect from the band, but it definitely shows growth, with great care and attention going into the album itself and not just individual songs.
Fans of The Low Anthem who came in on Oh My God, Charlie Darwin may find Eyeland a difficult album to approach, and a more difficult one to accept. With the band trying out many new things, there’s perhaps a loss of that delicate beauty that helped make their much earlier work so delightful and warming. However, under the surface of the tracks on Eyeland, those same elements remain, albeit, presented in a much different way. There’s a lot to be enjoyed on the album, which is perhaps the band’s most ambitious album to date, and the one that displays the most diversity and creativity from each member.
Eyeland understandably will most likely polarize many fans of the band, though those who are willing to accept the band’s newfound creativity, and are willing to just see where that creative streak takes them, will find Eyeland to be one of The Low Anthem’s more enjoyable and consistent album experiences. The overarching story-line and concept helps to tie together many different elements and ideas, making what would originally be a mish-mesh of ideas sound cohesive and well structured. It’s certainly different, but the creativity from the band certainly promises a lot, if one is willing to allow them to do their own thing.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- In Eyeland
- The Pepsi Moon
- Waved the Neon Seaweed
- In the Air Hockey Fire
The Low Anthem’s fifth studio album ‘Eyeland’ is out now.