Back in 2019, we got our hands on the most recent single from Philly-based group All This Huxley – a track titled Comrade II. Not only did we find it to be a gentle, cohesive, and colorful work – we were so impressed by it that it landed at #6 in our 2019 Top 10 Singles List.
The band is still comprised of its original members, Trevor Serine, John Corcoran, Josh Mayer, and Alex Marlys – each a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. This year, this dynamic foursome is back at it with a full-length album in the works. But their impatience and excitement to share new music with the world is our gain, as they’ve released a selection of songs from that album as a three-track EP, titled We Can Still Be Friends.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
The EP opens with Dirty Water, and we’re treated to a taste of the heavier side of this group’s sound. Crunchy but not overpowering, this track has a strong, driving rhythm (reminiscent of a river’s current, perhaps…), and just radiates authenticity and enthusiasm for the music – something that so often gets lost in studio renditions of electrifying tracks like this. Regardless, if you thought All This Huxley was simply an acoustic band – this track ought to make you think again.
Patio brings us back to what we might consider the band’s signature sound – and it’s true, modern, indie-folk at its finest. The band refers to it as “hypnotic” and we’re seriously inclined to agree. The layers of vocals over the gentle guitars, the expertly interspersed keys, the absolutely pitch-perfect harmonies that give way to a gentle but insistent rhythm – it all adds up to something profoundly mesmerizing, the kind of music that it’s just effortless to find yourself lost in.
The EP concludes with Dream / Breathe (though truth be told, we wish we hadn’t arrived at the end so soon). Each track on this project has a distinctly different flavor, and this one in particular cements it, sidestepping the more modern folk sound for something that’s a bit reminiscent of a Celtic classic at times. It’s got a great dynamic build that crescendos into a heavy, pain-laced battle cry, absolutely rife with serious emotion. The entire EP is overflowing with poetic writing that is brilliant and evocative, but here the band’s lyric work is on especially prominent display:
“Tell me it’s a dream, it’s all in my head
Show me how to make-believe
How to unring that rung
Else it’s all over for you, my son
I can see the lights from here, just breathe
Show me how to disappear
How to unsing that sung
Else it’s all over for you, my son“
We hear a lot of music here at The Ark. We always love hearing the full expression of musical thought that develops across the release of a few tracks into the complete expanse of a full album. But we absolutely mean it when we say that after listening to We Can Still Be Friends, we haven’t been so excited to hear what’s next from a band as we are with All This Huxley in a very long time. This EP is undoubtedly a must-listen for fans of any variety of modern indie folk-rock sounds, and in that same vein, this is most certainly a group to keep an eye on. On its own, this project does a phenomenal job of showcasing this band’s skills, their artistic range, and their growth as a group, and if the rest of this album follows in the footsteps of this preview, it’s truly going to be something to behold.
BELOW: Listen to We Can Still Be Friends by All This Huxley and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support All This Huxley by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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