ARTIST: THE EARLY NOVEMBER
LABEL: RISE RECORDS
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
There’s something rich to be found in the alternative scene in New Jersey, and it’s always managed to bring some of the best acts to mainstream attention. Enter The Early November. A band that’s been almost 20 years in the making, facing highs and lows in their music career as a collective but always coming out on top stronger than ever. They’re bringing on 20 years by rounding off 2019 with the release of their fifth record, ‘Lilac‘. A record with an edge of pop while keeping the band’s trademark vulnerability, it’s time to see what the Jersey rockers are giving the world this time round.
One of their latest singles, ‘Ave Maria’, is a true example of the band using more elements of pop throughout ‘Lilac‘. Created with catchy beats and lyrical depth, it adds a level of honesty that is lacking in many mainstream pop songs of recent times. ‘Ave Maria’ takes a sound that many will recognise from the early days of You Me At Six, and the later times of 5 Seconds of Summer. A fluid blend of rock and pop: not too alternative to avoid the mainstream; not too mainstream to alienate alternative audiences.
“A record with an edge of pop while keeping the band’s trademark vulnerability”
Leaning more to the punk sound than pop is, ‘Hit By A Car (in Euphoria)’. Another single released earlier this year, it shows The Early November can hit harder when they need to and win the game of outside-the-box creativity. The winning element of this track is the fascinating use of vocals by the band. From pulling focus during the quiet moments, to strengthening the song’s power with fantastic harmonies, its balance is on point and works greatly in the band’s favour. It brings out every part of the track at its fullest, its most honest, through to the listeners into their own.
After such an unexpected journey through ‘Lilac‘, the album closes with the title track, ‘The Lilac’. An acoustic tune, it meets an alternative stereotype of ending a bouncy, catchy record on a bittersweet ballad but it doesn’t diminish the pure power behind it. The Early November have learnt a lot throughout their 20 years of working together in music, and that includes how to give the fans all the different styles they could possibly want in one album and pull it off without making it become an inconsistent piece of art missing its true value. From bouncy beats to sweet strums, there is depth and diversity within the tracks and it should be praised.
“It can take a long time and some good effort to make an album so diverse so successfully, and it’s a testament to a band’s dedication to their art”
It can take a long time and some good effort to make an album so diverse so successfully, and it’s a testament to a band’s dedication to their art. The Early November have grown a lot from their Jersey beginnings, but have always maintained them at the very core of their compositions. The ups and downs, happiness and sadness, fun and falls, it all makes the record that little more personal to the listener and is the best way to wind down from a musical whirlwind – which no doubt, ‘Lilac‘ was.
The Early November have experimented and tried some new stuff once again, and this is proof that a little change can always do some good.