Norwegian quartet Electric Eye are one of those bands who have been on my radar for some time. I very much enjoyed the band’s debut album ‘Pick-up, Lift-up, Space, Time’ from 2013, especially ‘Tangerine’ which has made it onto countless playlists of mine. The band is now very much back and centre of my thoughts with the release of its follow-up ‘Different Sun’, which will be released on Jansen Plateproduksjon on 5th February.
The new album pretty much takes up the story where ‘Pick-up, Lift-up, Space, Time’ left off with it’s smooth production and variously 60s and 70s doses of West Coast sun-drenched psych and post-Barrett Floyd flourishes. Yet as the title track of the album suggest this is something of a different angle on those influences. There is more nuance to this sophomore effort, and the band has cast its net more widely here.
Opening track, ‘Silent By The River’, with its immediacy and intermittent rhythm has the feel of a sixties protest song, while ‘All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again’ is reminiscent of ‘Division Bell’-era Floyd, with some lovely sitar which provides some added Eastern texture. ‘Mercury Rise’ , the new single, shares a considerable amount of DNA with Bolan’s ‘Get It On’…and is no worse for that comparison. A video for this track has just been released.
‘Bless’ deals with issues of prophethood and discipleship, and is probably the most immediate of the tracks here; while ‘Heavy Steps On Desert Floor’ taken a few more listens to get into. With its punchy bass line and languid psych guitar it is perhaps the track that most harks back to 60s California with its Laurel Canyon tones this would surely provide warmth to a Norwegian winter.
‘Never Fade Away’ is on the surface an upbeat and funky number that somehow seems to have something altogether more dark lurking just underneath, while album closer ‘Part One’ is the most atmospheric track here. Starting slowly and mysteriously with some ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ inspired sonics it gradually opens up into a soundscape that is certainly the most difficult yet most rewarding on the album.
On ‘Different Sun’ Electric Eye has not strayed too far from what made its debut album such a good listen, but there are some strong signs of development here and I look forward to seeing where the band will go next with its sound. On the evidence of ‘Part One’ this could be somewhere very interesting indeed.