Easter Island is brothers Ethan and Asher Payne, who, along with drummer John Cable and bassist Andrew Terrell, create smooth, dreamy progressive pop in the vein of Stars or even Wye Oak. Better Things is filled with surreal pop songs, opening with the near shoegaze “Proud”. While the EP doesn’t embark completely into that space, it does flirt with it frequently.
“Better Things” diverts into more of a 90s style indie rock sound full with echoing guitars. But it’s always on the dreamy side. Tumultuous chord progressions meet pleasantly harmonic vocals; most songs on Better Things fit this so-called evolution. The music moves through space and time, from its 90s roots to modern, and slightly chaotic, ringing noise.
While it never breaks the noise barrier to be outlandish or abrasive, Easter Island puts forth a viable effort to damage your eardrums one moment only to pull back on songs like “Into Bedroom”, a stripped-down piano-and-vocals track hinting of Ben Folds.
Better Things is about as diverse as it comes, and in every iteration it succeeds in capturing the attention. Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for their follow-up!
Download: “Proud” by Easter Island
2. Better Things
4. Into Bedrooms
5. Second Handers