Album Review: Everything Everything – Raw Data Feel

On their sixth album the Manchester band return to emotive, dancefloor madness — with a little help from AI

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The North of England has long been the hub of the UK’s contemporary art-rock scene. Manchester’s Everything Everything have outlived the likes of Dutch Uncles and Wild Beasts, and though they didn’t share the immediate international success of Alt-J, they have followed steadily while mastering their craft of chaotic, melodic glitch-pop.

2020’s Re-Animator saw the band rein in some of their bonkers, maximalist aesthetic in favour of slow-burning, Radiohead-esque reflective pieces that certainly gave frontman Jonathan Higgs more space to breathe — his dynamic jolts to falsetto have long been one of the band’s unique qualities.

While it was naturally viewed as a sign of maturity of a band five albums in, the string of singles that began leading a path to their next project seemed to conjure a giddy excitement; if Re-Animator was their lockdown record, this was the return to live. Just as their peers Foals talked about returning from the depths of a pandemic with a focus on fun, on life, Everything Everything’s sixth full-length Raw Data Feel returns to the heart of what spawned them in the first place.

Everything Everything - I Want A Love Like This (Official Video)

To help open the blinds of his mind and clear away the cobwebs of lockdown, Higgs began experimenting with AI, inputting random data — LinkedIn T&Cs, 4chan forum conversations, the entirety of Beowulf — and what was churned out fed into his songwriting; AI became “A fifth member of the band”, says Higgs in a press release. “A collaborator in terms of lyrics, another person I can bounce off.”

And yet the sweet cadences at the centre of club-ready tunes ‘Teletype’ and ‘I Want A Love Like This’ are some of their most stirring, most humanly bittersweet to date. The full band feel of ‘Jennifer’ serves as a palette cleansing afterparty of ‘Pizza Boy’, whilst the combo of ‘Shark Wee’ and “‘Cut UP!’ remind us that their control of tempo can be just as masterful as their melodies.

Everything Everything - Jennifer (Official Video)

Though the intersection of organic and technologically driven sounds feels perfectly in keeping with both Everything Everything‘s sonic hyper-pop and lyrical interest in contemporary forces, ironically consulting a robot makes them sound even more themselves.

Raw Data Feel is out today via Infinity Industries. Everything Everything play O2 Academy 2 Leicester tonight (20 May) tickets available here.