With the Neighbourhood’s newest EP, To Imagine, the band has mostly stuck to the moody sound that was established on their first album I Love You, and further cemented with 2015’s Wiped Out! How this release differs from the EP before it comes in its movement toward a more electronic sound.
The band has always leaned in this direction, but never before has it relied on a more synthetic sound over traditional instrumentation. This move isn’t necessarily a bad one and has resulted in a couple of catchy, hypnotic tunes that capture the band’s signature tone.
”Stuck With Me” and “Scary Love,” in particular, do a fantastic job of conveying the band’s intensity, and the lyrics of these tunes capture the feeling of internal turmoil that romance can bring. It’s easy to picture listening to both of these songs on repeat while grappling with both the prettiest and ugliest details of a relationship.
The other three songs on To Imagine unfortunately don’t hold up as well to the band’s standard of memorable, distinct music that can be played over and over without getting old.
“Dust” begins as a proper introduction to the EP’s electronic leanings, but quickly becomes repetitive before it reaches its end. “Compass” is stronger, but ultimately forgettable, and “Heaven” is just a boring track to slog through before moving back up to a stronger conclusion.
To fans of the band, this EP is worth the listen. The highs outshine the lows here, but it’s doubtful any of the songs will stack up as anyone’s favourite. For those who have never listened to the Neighbourhood, To Imagine does not do justice to the talent the band has demonstrated in the past.
“Stuck with Me”
(Featured image: To Imagine, Columbia Records)