There aren’t many artists in my itunes library that defy genres quite like Everything Everything. The best I’ve been able to come up with so far is “falsetto-centric experimental hip hop“.
I’ll take a moment here for a quick technical aside: Falsetto is a method that male vocalists can use to reach considerably higher notes than “regular” singing (think Minnie Mouse) It is generally avoided in radio music because it is virtually guaranteed to sound weird, especially if used in long phrases. Also it is used extensively in yodeling.
Everything Everything’s lead singer Jonathan Higgs, however, doesn’t shy away from this odd sounding technique. Where many have thought “I can’t do that on a record. I’ll sound silly” or perhaps “I can’t do that on a record. I won’t sell any copies of it” Jonathan Higgs decided to use the hell out of it.
Because of Higg’s unusual choice to embrace falsetto, a lot of their songs are pretty jarring. He sings a lot of melodies that don’t sound like they were written for a voice. This is in stark contrast to the FM dial, where virtually every song has been written to AVOID the lead singer having to do anything demanding (I’m looking at you Ke$ha)
On the “Geek” side of things Everything Everything wear their heritage on their sleeve. Check out the first few lines of Photoshop Handsome:
“I will gain an extra life, when I get the high score!
(you can respawn anywhere)
I am one with the furniture, more inanimate than amateur!
(like a television set)”
Of course the band’s magic doesn’t stop with its lead singer. The rest of the group is just as creative and talented. They back up their front man with a unique combination of modern sounds, 8 bit synth, and a ton of chops.
Check out the video below. I’ll warn you that is a little bit tough to watch since it contains the HIGHEST POSSIBLE number of bad photoshops. 😀