July 5, 2023

You’ll perhaps already know that Envy of None have returned after their breakout 2022 self-titled debut to release their new EP That Was Then, This Is Now – it actually came out last month on Kscope Records, as faithfully reported by Yours Truly. The foursome is composed of an all-star Canadian/American line up, namely guitarist Alex Lifeson (Rush), bassist Andy Curran (Coney Hatch), singer Maiah Wynne (the Portland Cello Project – among other stuff!) and Alf Annibalini (guitarist, keys player, producer, and mixer to the Stars!), all of whom are happy to continue their trippy, edgy atmospheric sound-adventure…

Lady and Gentlemen – Envy of None!

It probably needs stating at the outset that this is certainly no “Rush Mk2” – in fact Envy Of None couldn’t really be much different, more pop-orientated, synth-driven with relatively simple song arrangements. The band’s debut full-length album featured lush, melodic arrangements with great vocals and superbly written songs; and this new EP follows in the same broad mould. It’s made up of five adventurous tracks, starting with Lethe River which features a sumptuous 80’s electro-beat and the first taste of Maiah’s dreamy, dreamy vocals. D’you know what, I got a real flavour of Morcheeba here in its classy chilled vibe.

You’ll Be Sorry follows, with a slower, darker, more complex percussive beat. Again those smooth vocals float above the rhythm, the synths and guitar are sparse in the mix but effective nonetheless, and a laid-back insidious bassline pins it all down….Dog’s Life (Remix) is the first of two songs that featured previously on the debut album, but here they take on a hugely more trippy vibe. Again the bubbling mix of bass and synths forms the bedrock of this track while Maiah’s semi-whispered voice weaves its magic. There’s almost a touch of the gothic to the haunting background of this one.

Dumb (Der Dummkopf Remix) continues that trippy House vibe, it’s enough to get these feet twitching as it recalls those happy 80’s nights….

The EP’s culminates with a newly recorded track That Was Then, it undulates with a throbbing clubby beat, progressive dexterity, still capturing that dreamy Morcheeba influence, it’s a great example of the unbound melodic writing ability this fascinating foursome have showcased. 
That Was Then, This Is Now is a little aural treat, it definitely remains in keeping the band’s sound of their eponymous debut whilst also pushing the boundaries and is a fascinating intro to whatever comes next with these guys!…Enjoy!

That Was Then!