“Someone always has to be the man” reflects Everything Everything frontman Jonathan Higgs on ‘The Mariana’ – the beautiful opening track and primary reason for the existence of their new four-track EP. “After reading some shocking statistics on male suicide,” he said in a statement about the four-track release, ‘A Deeper Sea’, “we felt inspired to write a new song dealing with male identity and depression.” A contemplative track even for ponderers supreme Everything Everything, it employs a slowly building pulse of synth to pose questions about toxic masculinity and loneliness that echo those asked in Netflix’s triumphant recent reboot of Queer Eye.
The remainder of the EP is essentially a collection of already-existing material. New track ‘Breadwinner’ was originally written for their punchy and political fourth album ‘A Fever Dream‘, which was released last August and produced by James Ford (Foals). Like much of the album it was written for, it’s peppered with ominous melodies and lyrics that blast power, among other devils. Another song originally on that album, ‘Ivory Tower’, is given an unsurprisingly banging remix by experimentalist Tom Vek, on which Higgs’ already sample-sounding lyrics about slacktivism become even more wryly robotic. Finally, there’s a respectful but innovative live cover of Neil Young’s classic ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’, recorded last August at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios for Annie Mac’s Radio 1 Show.
As a standalone EP it might only feel essential for existing fans were it not for the lyrical and melodic clout of ‘The Mariana’, on which the eccentric art-rockers keep things deceptively simple, asking tough questions and coming out feeling even more like a band to cherish.