Album review: The Early November – The Early November

’00s emo heroes The Early November stand up and make themselves known all over again on album seven…

Album review: The Early November – The Early November
Emma Wilkes

It’s a great time to be a band that emerged in the 2000s. The scene’s current flush of nostalgia has given a slew of acts a second look-in as they enter their third decade (and a nice cash injection to boot), but the gold rush didn’t seem to reach The Early November’s door. Feeling overlooked, they decided not to sit around feeling salty, but to show the world what they’d been missing out on. As such, album seven feels – all the way down to its eponymous title – like they’re reintroducing themselves, and in doing so, their output is fresher than they’ve been for a significant while.

There’s a comforting warmth to it, but nonetheless, it is clearly not the sound of a duo attempting to rewind time. It’s a record that blossoms slowly, its magic bubbling to the surface in quiet, unexpected moments – The Magician’s earnest, mid-paced clatter unfurls into something much more majestic in its final third, while Tired Of Lying polishes that formula in a cocktail of angst and punchy riffs. It attempts to introduce flashes of more modern, alt-pop hand claps and airy synths in What We Earn and The Dirtiest Things with slightly less success, but it’s well intentioned as a means of giving their sound a fresh coat of paint.

At the same time, immediacy suits them, and when they choose to take the straight-to-the-bloodstream route they find some of their biggest successes. The sweet, fuzzy About Me is an instantly likeable ode to an unfinished love affair and slightly later, the atmospheric ballad We Hang On simmers with feeling in the most captivating ways.

Somehow, The Early November have unearthed the wide-eyed spirit of their younger selves and intertwined it with their sense of experience to create a record that demands that they be heard and not forgotten. Being able to do that is a rare thing.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Thursday, Knuckle Puck, Jimmy Eat World

The Early November is released on June 14 via Pure Noise

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