Life has been fairly busy for the five-piece indie-pop family act Eisley, not just in all the obvious hard work put into their latest release Currents, but in family life in general, as four of the band mates recently entered parenthood. This fact alone makes it fairly remarkable that Currents is quite possibly the band’s most mature and focused work to date.
Recorded in their home studio, and unshackled from label requirements, the family DuPree had pretty much an open canvas to work on. Where this can prove detrimental to some bands who require an external influence to give them focus, Eisley, while still fairly young, are by no means novices. This creative liberty was apparently just what they needed to clarify their musical direction and produce the record they needed to make.
Eisley have never been a band to shy away from airy sounds and harmonies; on Currents, however, they jump into this vibe with both feet. The overarching maritime theme on the album provides a perfect backdrop for the sisters’ breathy harmonies, the atmospheric synths and lush string arrangements—all of these anchored by a steadfast rhythm section that keeps them from floating off. Excellent examples of this interconnection can be found in the opening title track, the follow up “Blue Fish,” and “Wonder English”, whose soaring harmonies provided one of the album’s most powerful sonic moments for me.
Indie acts can often run into snags when they attempt to self-produce; again, this has not proven to be a problem for Eisley, who seem to know exactly what they are doing in the studio. With excellent arrangements, and with all the elements sharing the sonic space well, Currents actually serves as an example of what is possible in the digital age with home recording, when it is done correctly.
It has taken some time for Eisley to find its feet after parting ways with Warner Bros. a few years ago. And while “going indie” is a popular trend these days, it can also be hurtful to the wrong band. But Eisley seem to be one of those acts who thrives on independence and creative freedom, and years of hardship and “life happening” have served them quite well. Currents demonstrates that this is a band who might just do their best work when they are simply left alone. At any rate, it’s one of their best.