The early 2000’s were a wild time.
It was the beginning of the era where one can easily track down and collect music with a few clicks of a computer mouse. The demise of Napster and Kazaa(!) led to better innovations (iTunes) where you could purchase music for as little as 99 cents. It was a relief because I couldn’t tell you how many times I got burned downloading something from Napster that ended up being in horrible audio quality and was often labeled incorrectly. We won’t even begin to discuss the horrors that happened while downloading anything from Kazaa.
In addition to listening to several days’ worth of music on my iPod, I also had the privilege of having a portable XM Satellite Radio to have at my ears’ delight while working. I am a sucker for long-form talk radio, and I was willing to pay $14.99 a month for it. I purchased a subscription because I was a diehard Opie & Anthony fan and they had returned to XM radio in 2004 and I had to listen to every moment. While that was great for me at that time, something even better was happening; The Ron and Fez show was making their way onto the format.
The Ron and Fez show might be the best radio show to ever grace the airwaves. Blurring the lines between what was real or staged, the show was perfection of the craft. On top of compelling and hysterical radio, the show had a focus on cool, cutting-edge music. Taking advantage of XM’s enormous library, each show would start with a unique song. Sometimes it would be a well-known song, something in the vein of “Sympathy For The Devil”, by the Rolling Stones, or Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin'”, but other times it would be something new. Something different.
Thanks to Ron and Fez I got my first tastes of Chairlift and Nicole Atkins, two artists that I still love and listen to to this day. But it was an afternoon that I will never forget in 2008 when the Ron and Fez played the song “Suffragette Suffragette” to start their show. It was unlike anything I had heard before. It was unbelievably quirky and it just plain rocked. I must have replayed the beginning of that show and that song a dozen times that day. Instead of doing anything resembling work, I spent the rest of my day trying to find out who did this song. Hours passed and later that night I found out the band was called Everything Everything.
I then made my very first purchase on iTunes upon that discovery.
2015’s Get To Heaven was Everything Everything’s third album and it was one that slipped by my radar for some point. I have listened to it, but never really sat with it. That was definitely a mistake on my part.
Get To Heaven truly shines a spotlight on the strengths of the band. Every song has it’s own personality with incredible melodies and the unmistakable falsetto delivery from frontman Jonathan Higgs. Lyrically, the songs masterfully weave the line between the beautiful and the dark and tragic. “Distant Past” and “Hapsburg Lippp” are shining examples combining brilliant, cutting lyrics with an undeniable dance beat.
Speaking of dancing, there is no shortage of head bopping and toe tapping on the album. The title track “Get To Heaven” is an absolute jam, and if you can listen to “Regret” and “Blast Doors” and not be swaying along, you might have some sort of internal issue worth checking out.
This probably goes without saying, but without the help of the Ron and Fez show, I may have completely missed out on this incredible band. Everything Everything is definitely deserving of your time and ears.