Talkaboutpopmusic.com fav’s, Eighty Ninety – the indie-pop project of NYC-based brothers Abner James (vocals, production) and Harper James (guitar, production) — have just released their brand-new EP, “The Night Sky”!
The eight(!)-track collection, which includes a mix of previously released singles and a few brand new tracks, is an indie-pop paradise ablaze with catchy pop hooks, ambitious production and confessional lyricism.
Made up of vignettes from the pair’s shared history as brothers and collaborators, the songs explores themes of love, choices, friendship, heartbreak, hope, memories and dreams. “The Night Sky” serves as the follow up to Eighty Ninety’s highly successful debut EP, “Elizabeth”, and their subsequent string of singles, which cemented the New York-based duo as ones to watch in the indie-pop space.
Their songs fuse intimate storytelling, sticky melodies, and minimalist pop productions built on acoustic instruments and electronic sounds in a style they call 808s and telecasters — a shorthand for both their music and their anything goes mentality in the studio. To date, they’ve racked up over 30 million streams. Along the way, the duo have even earned a co-sign from Taylor Swift who added their single “Your Favorite Song” to her official Spotify playlist “Songs Taylor Loves”.
“The Night Sky” opens with the dreamy title track, complete with melt-in-the mouth vocals from Abner, that performs just as well in the blazing sunshine as it does in the moonlight. “Better As Friends” continues this theme but with a more wistful, poptastic sound often allowing the electro synths consume the whisper-quiet vocals. “Heart On The Line” is a gorgeous acoustic number with some very cute, heartfelt lyrics, which merges seemlessly into “Forever”, which does add to the mixture a wicked beat that just may become addictive upon first listen… “Walking You Home” sees the boys team up with singer and producer Middle Youth…none other than Harper’s own solo music project! Working under a different ID allows him to inject a faster, more urgent feel to the music.
“Happier” sees Abner and Harper return to sunkissed acoustic territory. Stripped back and full of atmosphere, “Happier” will certainly make you even after one listen. “Know Me” dives deeper into this genre and with a tinge of Country ukulele that pervades the soundtrack to this cinematic quality tune. This extended EP concludes with “Thinking Of You” and you realise that Eighty Ninety have divided this mini album in two. First the cool, slinky pop anthems and then the outstanding, down-tempo numbers which really highlights their now well honed ability to create a scene, set the tone and tell a story from beginning to end. Sublime, we call it.
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