When ‘Vocal Chords’ first came to GIITTV’s attention a year ago, it made us want to don some ludicrous outfit, find a carnival procession and dance along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. in what would probably be The Most Fun Carnival Ever. Whilst it still has that effect 12 months on, now we’re starting to see another side to the band – one for when the party’s over.
The Nothing But Our Love EP is the perfect example of that previously unseen facet of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein’s musical enterprise. Stripped back and melancholy, it’s less a riot of calypso colours and more a dimly lit, sombre comedown. As synth swells and shimmering effects build on the opener (and title track), heartbroken lyrics like “what I have is nothing that you want/What I lack, nothing but your love” stream forth, delivered with a pang of desperation and more than a touch of anguish. Celebratory, this is not.
‘Skeleton’ continues with rattling, rickety beats and soft “ba ba” backing vocals cushioning the band as they ponder “so you think you’ve moved me to change/How can I be moved when I want to move away from this place?” ‘An Ugly Person On A Movie Screen’ is fuller than its predecessors but is no more cheerful, sighing with a hint of disgust at the protagonist’s love interest “I guess you’re more concerned with the immediate things/Looking lovely in your jeans.”
Heavy-hearted and crestfallen it may be, but it’s good to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. aren’t just one trick party ponies – they can pull on our heartstrings as well as make us want to pull on our dancing shoes.
Release date: Out now