For Everest Create a Beautiful Dichotomy with ‘We Are At Home In The Body’
An unnecessary amount of my time has been spent trying to create a clear distinction between the music I loved in high school and the music I love now. High school me was all about pop-punk and bitter one-liners that I could scrawl across the cover of my notebooks and the bottom of classroom worksheets. This is still a half-truth; I look back at pop-punk with nostalgic warmth, but I’d be a liar if I said that I’ve grown tired of a good one-liner. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with a band called For Everest. With the release of their debut album, they’ve done something that until now I thought to be impossible. We Are At Home In The Body is a record that has bridged the gap between past and present versions of myself; it’s a body of work that I can emphatically claim both would enjoy. It’s probably my album of the year.
I was immediately swept up in the energy of “Autonomy” when it was released as the first single. The steady, battle-ready drumming drives listeners into Sarah’s beautiful vocals. It feels like magic, the way this song captivates you. When we hit that soaring chorus; hearing their sweet, beautiful voice soar over lyrics as bitter and ugly as “If the cigarettes don’t cloud your lungs and rot your teeth, and the drugs don’t eat your heart and slur your speech, if you make it home tonight without killing anyone else, I hope you find a way to hurt yourself” creates a beautiful dichotomy that sets the tone for the rest of this record. This is a record that is heavier than it appears on the surface; a masterpiece that displays a mastery of songwriting.
There’s a lot of masterful work going on with this record. Last year saw TWIABP released an album that opened my eyes to what an incredible band they are, and a lot of that had to do with Chris Teti and Silver Bullet Studios. There’s a clarity to everything he does. You can hear every instrument; every part of the machine in unison without having to compete with each other for your attention. You can hear it best on “Vitamins” when the string section begins to pick up and further down the road when the song comes to it’s crashing and satisfying climax.
Sidebar: Slurpee Pt 1 and 2 make up the most beautiful part of this record and rather than waste time trying to how articulate how truly incredible these songs are, I figured I would just give you a quick heads up: this is right about where they hit the fuck me up switch — and they hit it hard.
Another of the sweetest moments on We Are At Home In The Body comes from “I’m in a Boxcar Buried Inside a Quarry.” This is in equal parts because of the sprawling composition of the track and Chris Teti’s flawless production and engineering. When the song picks up, everything starts to crash beneath lyrics that are so poignant and delivered with such emotional weight that they can’t help but to sting a little. It’s hard to not shout along as Sarah begins to wail and repeat, “I don’t want a body if I’m just a body. Don’t touch me.”
To briefly touch on that dichotomy once more, there’s a song on this record called “Penny Royalty” that starts out in a way that feels very dancey and very alive before diving into the ideas of separating yourself from friends and family for being actively racist, transphobic, etc over a hook like “Do we always learn to live with what we can’t forget, and is that kindness?” They do all of this while shooting out moments of self-doubt and anger with lyrics like “It’s just that I don’t want to think about who I am and the person I’d rather be” and “It’s only a matter of time before you leave or I’ll make you wish you did.” Even with all of that, it still sounds like a pop song.
Closing track, “50/50” is an incredible seven-minute long journey. It’s quiet for a moment before crashing and collapsing back into moments of driving musicianship. The battle-ready pounding of the drums makes another appearance as things begin to pick up once more. It’s cyclic and comes across as the mission-statement of the album, and that’s made clear when Sarah belts out “He looks at you as if to say we are at home in the body” and is driven home by “I don’t know how we watch the ones we love die.” All of the ups and downs; the joys and turmoils of life are laid out for us here. These are seven minutes of clarity and realization; acceptance of what is to come and questioning why it must. It feels like For Everest has gone super-saiyan.
I’m hoping that once this record drops unto the masses, there will be a groundswell around For Everest. There is so much talent packed into these five people and the amount of heart that has been poured into the record is made clear with a sense of urgency and importance that you’d have to really be trying to ignore. For Everest, forever(est).