"It all started when Sam [Wood] decided to watch a black hole documentary. How else do album titles come about?" says Eighteen Individual Eyes singer Irene Barber, explaining where the band's new full-length record title, Unnovae Nights, comes from. "Unnovae is a term to describe the possibility of a star simply vanishing, fizzling out to its death," she continues. "This is the opposite of a supernova, when a star dies with a bang. We felt the term fit the mood of our songs—a beautiful yet unsettling scene."
Indeed, the word is a perfect fit.
Upon first listen, it's easy to get captivated by Barber's elegant vocals, which are reminiscent of Annie Clark of St. Vincent. But if you allow yourself to fall a little deeper into the songs of Nights, it reveals an even more hypnotic and haunting tapestry of fuzzed guitar, jagged beats, and angular rhythms, and soon the fluid and sexy textures paint a picture that's more doomed than you first imagined.
In "Strawberry Cemetery," Barber snaps off lines about wanting the best for someone. She may be sincere, but she's not happy about it. Songs like "Octogirl" and "Four Poses" also deliver with equal parts loveliness and prickliness. Song after song, EIE prove to be a band that will lure you in for a kiss and then bite your lip.
Based on a positive result from recording the single "Luck of the Elephants," the band—rounded out by Jamie Aaron on guitar, Samantha Wood on bass, and newcomer Andy King on drums—again tapped prolific Seattle producer Matt Bayles (Isis, Russian Circles, tons more) to capture their delicately balanced dynamics on record. "He took what we already thought was good and helped us fully realize it while keeping our existing essence, existing edge," says Barber.
Furthermore, she says they're excited to bring in King, who's previously worked with Lovesick Empire and See Me River, on drums. "He interprets the songs with a good balance of oomph and style. The CD release will be our first live show with Andy, and we're excited to present what we think is a stronger, more focused EIE."