Easter Island Takes the Time to Get It Right

Athens/Atlanta group Easter Island washed upon our shores ten years ago with a clustered gust of activity, releasing a debut EP, Better Things, in 2011, a full LP, Frightened, the following year, and a 7-inch single the year after that. Since then, the band teetered on the verge of breaking up, acquired a new rhythm section and more recently has trickled out a couple songs online while carefully crafting their long-in-coming second album. Originally to be titled Island Nation after one of the songs, it instead arrives Dec. 11 rather appropriately called Take All the Time You Think You Need.

It was clearly time put to good use, as the quintet balances accessible melodicism with translucent, breaking-dawn dream-pop, gliding across the horizon with depth and aplomb. Descriptors like “shimmering” and “atmospheric” are always wheeled out for acts like this, and while they certainly apply, the band’s sound has grown grander, fuller and lusher, notwithstanding a couple tracks that are comparatively sparse and acoustic. Comparisons to early Coldplay that have followed Easter Island since their formation aren’t entirely off the mark, as there are moments on the LP that have such a vibe.

I’m not really following the lyrics all that closely but I think we can safely call them “introspective.” But if you find yourself asking “who’s the chick?” during a few of the songs, put away your boner – that’s just Ethan Payne going extra falsetto on us with his cathedral voice. Coupled with brother Asher Payne on keyboards, Ethan and Ryan Monahan’s guitars combine to launch us into orbit, while unobtrusive bass guitarist Justin Ellis and the hefty drums of John Swint keep us within comm range.

Photo by Holli Garrido.