Single Review: Everything Everything – Cough Cough

By on Wednesday, 29th August 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Everything Everything premiered their newest song, ‘Cough Cough’ last night with Huw Stephens on Radio1 (deputising for Zane Lowe), followed close behind with another airing of it on Marc Riley’s 6music programme. In a brief chat with singer Jonathan Higgs after the song’s premiere on Radio1, Huw Stephens said something to the effect that ‘Cough Cough’ sounds undoubtedly like Everything Everything but gone above and beyond what they’ve done before.

I concur heartily with Huw’s statement; for anyone who is a fan of the band, whether you think ‘Man Alive’ is gospel, or simply that ‘My Kz Ur Bf’ is A Top Tune Indeed, you hear ‘Cough Cough’, and there is no mistaking it for any other band. The hip hop beats and lyrics delivered by staccato by Jonathan Higgs, followed up by his bandmates’ harmonious backing, is classic EE. As the song oozes into the chorus, it turns – briefly – into a slow jam, smoothly, not unlike the way your brain wraps around the actual lyrics of “that a eureka moment like being hit like a cop car”.

The lyric “We’re coming alive”? It’s meant to be a confrontational song, judging from the video. Water torture, gas masks, hooligans trying to break the glass of car windows and police in riot gear aren’t things you’re supposed to see in pop music videos. I’m guessing from the fires and liquids in piping is referring to the reliance on foreign oil, with the water/oil torture indicating how we’re being involuntarily being force-fed bad things like propaganda. Higgs describes the song like this:

‘Cough Cough’ is about the power of money and the desire to get away from it. It’s also about waking up and seeing the world as an unfair place and then slipping back under the spell of greed. It’s about having no money, and wanting more money, and wanting nothing to do with money at all.”

Also, besides drummer Michael Spearman who’s supposed to be banging on the drums, all four of them are beating on huge skins, conjuring up my memories of the last day of Roskilde 2010 and Korean rhythmic group Dulsori‘s performance, minus the colourful costumes. In any event, it’s a welcome sight, rather than four blokes on a stage in their normal performance guise. I suspect they’ll also gain some more female fans too; who doesn’t love a sweaty musician on stage? It should probably be noted too that the heaviness of the drums, which draw you in and make you want to dance, could be equated to Friendly Fires‘Kiss of Life’.

Jonathan Higgs has this memorable, self-satisfied smile in the video, and self satisfied he should be. No doubt about it, ‘Cough Cough’ is a cool-sounding song by anyone’s measurement and should do great on Radio1’s kind of audience: it’s urban enough while maintaining originality and freshness. While it’s got the kind of exciting sound we should expect from Everything Everything, this new material was made not by reinventing the wheel but doing what they do best…and taking it up some very important notches. We’ll be watching when the new album drops in mid-January.

9/10

‘Cough Cough’, the new single from Everything Everything, will be released on the 14th of October. Their second album, titled ‘Arc’, is out on the 14th of January 2013 on RCA Victor.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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