Today, Minneapolis band Early Eyes release “Look Alive!” their debut album via Epitaph Records.
Produced by Caleb Hinz (Hippo Campus, Samia) and Jake Luppen of Hippo Campus, Look Alive! looks ahead to a post-genre future where emo, post-hardcore, Japanese city pop, and musical theater can coexist peacefully on one album.
Early Eyes signed to Epitaph Records in January 2020 and put out their first singles with the label that March—just as the pandemic brought the entire music industry screeching to a halt. As weeks turned into months, and as their city of Minneapolis imploded in a catastrophic moment of fury, grief, and protest, the band alternated between doing what they could to support mutual aid efforts and holing up in the studio to channel their complicated emotions into song.
“It almost feels like Look Alive! is a direct response to the pandemic,” vocalist Jake Berglove reflects. “We took all of that anxiety and angry energy and put it into making a really fucked up album.” But at the same time, the making of the album was truly an exploratory process. “During the writing of this record, we found ourselves in a situation where we wouldn’t be able to perform anything live for a long time,” the band explains. “These constraints wound up liberating us from previous ideas we had about what we could or couldn’t do as a band, allowing us to expand our identity into something more fluid and comfortable.”
The album is followed by a string of singles that showcase the variety of sounds that inspired Early Eyes. One can detect traces of despondence and ennui in the psychedelic melodies of “Paresthesia” and “Revel Berry.” Catchy pop-rock earworm “Chemicals,” features tinges of jazz funk with comedic sensibilities, marking another attempt to “inject a song with as much chaotic, shameless, and exciting energy possible!” according to Berglove. The most recent release, “Dying Plant,” sums up their collective frustrations and funnels them into a cathartic outlet of pure punk rage.
In celebration of the album release, Early Eyes will be co-headlining a show with friends Alien Book Club on February 26th, tickets available here.