Los Angeles rock band EELS has been previewing their new album “Extreme Witchcraft” with three new singles, and also appear to be heading in a new direction.
EELS has released ‘The Magic,’ ‘Steam Engine,’ and ‘Good Night on Earth.’ With what will be their 14th studio album to date, EELS appears to be heading towards a new sound that is a departure from their previous album, “Earth to Dora.”
“Earth to Dora,” EELS 13th studio album, is noticeably quiet and introspective. These new singles show a much louder, rock-focused sound compared to what the band has done in the past.
The first single released, “Good Night on Earth” opens like a White Stripes song. The listener is immediately thrown into heavy guitar and pounding drums. The song is immediately much louder than most of EELS discography. The guitar in this song is thick with distortion and is very similar to what one might hear from Jack White. Two-thirds of the way through the song, there’s a switch to a quick refrain focused on dreamy vocal effects, and lightened guitar. “Good Night on Earth” ends with a guitar solo and sounds like a departure from the traditional EELS relaxed, thoughtful and composed style of songwriting.
Their second single, “The Magic,” has heavy sounding guitar riffs, and lots of distortion mixed with very clean and polished vocals. The vocals of this song stick to a pattern, contributing to the fast and driving pace of this single. A synthesizer refrain two-thirds of the way through the song serves to break up the song from getting too repetitive and boring. This second single is also a much different style of song than what EELS listeners may be used to.
The third single, “Steam Engine,” sounds like a 50s throwback, heavy on drums and dominant guitar riffs. There’s less storytelling than a usual EELs song and is more so focused on the beat and the general vibe of the music. Instead of a story being told, lyrics take a backseat and have the listener focus more on the instrumentation present. This single sounds like an old-school rock and roll song, stylistically similar to what one would hear from an artist like Chuck Berry. The song is very open and airy, giving plenty of room for the guitarist to experiment over the consistent drumbeat.
These new singles point the way towards a new sound for EELS, one much louder and more aggressive than in the past. EELS appears to be moving from calm and collected songs to disorganized, hectic ones. Whether EELS is going in a whole new direction sonically remains to be seen.
“Extreme Witchcraft” will be available everywhere on Jan. 28, 2022.