‘Everyone You Know’s eagerly awaited EP finally took myself and the entire pre-party guestlist onto their journey, bouncing onto, and deep-diving off the walls of Kachette Shoreditch, in collaboration with Reebok- all of which paralleled perfectly with the scrumptious urban underground vibe that British music culture smashes so well, and what EYK seem to ooze effortlessly.
‘Look After Your Pennies’, a sweet, smart, attention grabbing title, has been gifted to a collection of pieces that all seem to spark from different types of gunpowder. Some are warm burning sparklers that you can dance and move smoothly with, whilst others you need to stand and take in the firework display crackling around you. You could feel the pride and love that the duo, Rhys Kirkby- Cox and Harvey Kirkby, had for their first track ‘She Don’t Dance’ as they introduced it, and likewise their entire crowd cheered including myself.
Foundationed with dreamy electric chords and rustic vocals, it’s a strong and quirky ‘summer into fall’ track that champions a representation of their music progress. Looking back to the warm reception of their first EP ‘Cheer Up Charlie’ which landed on our laps October last year, we can hear a crisper, more refined and focused sound in ‘LAYP’, meaning we can only expect success and more, judging from their achievements already. NME, Sunday Times Culture, Wonderland recognition as well as support from BBC1 music’s keenest ear Annie Mac and 6MUSIC’s Steve Lamacq just to name a few. Both Kirkby and Kirkby- Cox are young, have a hunger for fine tuning their sound and identity stamp to perfection, and are willing to experiment to do so.
What can be particularly appreciated is EYK’s nod and focus on working towards being a crafter and influencer of UK sound. There’s a slight nastiness and whip that has moved us away from the brit-pop era, and that particular post-millennial sound has projected names like Stormzy and Fredo into the lights. All these artists have something in common, the bravery and the exposure to shock and attack.
Tracks like ‘Money’ reflect this- which possesses some real interesting contrasts between rough rap and an angelic ‘Empire of the Sun’ style chorus, giving us a cool down for a few seconds whilst they chug some water back, strap the boxing gloves back on and then back into the ring for a full knock-out. It works beautifully when the idea has been practiced and failed so many times before by other artists, and in knowledge of that, once the track finished I lifted my cider in respect.
Now on a personal note- I am an absolute sucker for artists who braid skits and interludes into their EPs/ albums. Give us poems, inner thought monologues, scratchy pre-records from the studio or fuzzy voice note messages that really capture the essence of the ‘grind-of-life’. I’ll listen to these ON LOOP on train, bus, plane journeys, letting them shift me into trippy moments of reflection whilst staring out of the window. Hence why I almost jumped for joy when I saw EYK have woven three of them in. They’re harsh, laced with humour, championed with the boy’s London- laced accents, and serve as really effective bookmarks slotted nicely into their work. And because of that, it certainly ‘goes up in my books’.
If you find yourself searching deeper for a new hip-hop/ dance sound laced with a punk twist, take a listen. EYK have taken full advantage and immersion into the way music is now listened to. We live for the aesthetic, we want artists to provide us with an entire mood, and the boys have handed it to us on a silver platter- rich EP artwork, Spotify short videos accompanying a selection of their tracks, and an overall extended play which makes you both hold your breath tight, and let it out calmly. Expect the name ‘Everyone You Know’ only to rise higher, the venues to get bigger, and their hustle to climb even further- until everyone you know, knows them.
Heather Hogan | WRITER
Amzy FCX | PHOTOGRAPHER