Teetering on the brink of pop, edging towards introspection and falling in and out of time and space, Each Other build inviting songs out of aberrant riffs and fractured narratives. After earning an irreproachable reputation as one half of Halifax’s pristine guitar pop group Long Long Long, Mike Wright and Brad Lahead paired down and recorded this EP all themselves, then packed up and took it with them to Montreal.
While this project is a distinct side-step from their previous work, what remains is the duo’s preternatural gift for hiding unique melody in the strangest places. With each repeated listen, Taking Trips reveals a myriad of shining moments amidst the muddied walls of ravelling guitar lines and dropout drum pounding.
Like forward-thinking groups Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors, Each Other create blissful moments by putting unlikely ideas side by side, or one atop the other. For instance, the way the sophisticated, dead-eyed groove of opener ‘Looking Lapsed’ falls into an oblivion of spiked, six-string sufferance; or how standout ‘Freak Heat’ pays it’s dues to Tropicalia only to be usurped by a schizophrenic pair of reticulating guitar lines and two diverging vocal melodies.
Lyrically, Taking Trips is fraught with dualist anxiety, though it’s delivered sedately. While not always clear, the lyrics that stick out are often concerned with perspective (or lack thereof) and the dissonance between the natural world and experiential existence. Curiosities dissolve into more pessimistic visions or suggest a frustration in being tied to a world in flux, as in ‘Odd Body Of Water’:
When you walk down the road
When you watch falling snow
What do you feel?
How does it show?
I think about growing
the earth corroding
the sky glowing
and my body decomposing.
When I free my mind
I see no sign
of fear or doubt.
Considering the opening track’s refrain of ‘Let’s get high’, it seems the double-entendre of the tape’s title is not to be overlooked.
Regardless of the state of your mind, Each Other’s addictive, off-kilter songs will find their way across the barrier, burrow into your mind and menace your faculties. While Lahead and Wright make use of their shared pop vocabulary to build a language all their own, you’ll find yourself throwing etymology by the wayside and letting your mind sink into their cloudy sounds.