This album gets better and better the more you listen to it. A well crafted throwback to the 80’s that would give Chromeo a run for their money, Nightwavs, by Montreal-based dance rock band The Easton Ellises, will definitely have you dancing in your office chair (or wherever else you listen to it from).
The first track, “Stay”, hits hard right off the bat with some great old-school synth sounds. The vocalist has a unique tone that really suits the style of the music. Lyrics are simple and catchy, so that even the verses hook you after just a few listens. The song builds nicely, with thick arrangements lending power to the choruses, while the guitar adds just a hint of groovy rock to the track, even getting into a tasty lead near the end of the song (which is a nice change of flavour from the synth leads).
“Fall For You” sounds like the beginning to an old Men Without Hats track, at least right up until the Daft Punk style funk guitar line bites into the track. The high vocal harmonies are a nice touch, making for another hook-heavy track. While the verses are less interesting vocally than the other tracks, the deep pocket of guitar and bass riffs is more than enough to keep you engaged. Now, if I had to pick favourites, this song just didn’t quite keep me like the other three tunes did, even though I did like it.
“Falcon 69” pushes hard right off the bat with a great little falsetto vocal line. While definitely one of the more rock heavy songs on the EP, the break into a groove bordering on disco in the chorus gives the song a boost in energy that’s highly intoxicating. The middle of the song hits you with a breakdown that is reminiscent of the Imagine Dragons sound, but still keeps the 80s influence that makes The Easton Ellies so unique.
“Artificial Joy” is by far my favourite track on this EP. A small synth arpeggio sits on a bed of synth strings to create a very dark mood shift from the rest of the album. The rest of the band comes in with a heavy chugging feel, and pushes the dark feeling even farther. I dare say it’s got a James Bond theme feel to it. As the tracks pounds into the chorus, the feeling shifts as the song opens into the straight head bobbing groove that the rest of the EP leads you to expect. By the end of the song, you’ve got a dark piano riff setting a mood behind drum-guitar-bass shots and fills that border on classic rock, before pushing right back into a synth solo that wrestles you back into the vintage sound. This track shows incredible arranging prowess, as styles that shouldn’t work this well together fight and dance their way to perfect symbiosis.
I can’t decide if this band makes me want to dance or makes me want to rock out, but either way it’s been a long time since I’ve heard an indie release anywhere close to this good. Nightwavs is a must listen, and The Easton Ellies are a force to be reckoned with.
Written by Paul M. Orton