Recommended Tracks: “The Night Sky”, “Happier”, “Know Me”
Artists You May Like: lovelytheband, Smallpools, Nightly
Since coming onto the scene in 2016 with their debut EP, Elizabeth, indie pop band Eighty Ninety have racked up over 20 million streams with their “808s and telecasters” sound. They describe this sound as a mix of personal stories, engaging melodies, and minimalist productions, which have carved out a unique space for them in the indie pop realm. Fans are probably most familiar with their viral hit, “Three Thirty,” which came from Elizabeth, but also might know the band through coverage from Alternative Press or Ones To Watch. For the past couple of years, Eighty Ninety have been setting us up for their latest EP, which comes in the form of The Night Sky. A blend of old favorites and new jams, The Night Sky explores the idea of fate and how even the smallest decisions can have lasting results.
Most of the EP focuses on choices we make in our relationships, whether we choose to pursue them or move on. We hear about those crushing moments when things do not exactly work out on tracks like “Better as Friends,” which dives into uncomfortable “one that got away” territory. The dreamy production takes the sting out of lyrics such as, “Once you tell someone that you know they’re the one and you love them / Can you really be better as friends?” There’s also “Heart on the Line,” about the collapse of a relationship, and “Forever,” about wanting someone to come around. Over vibrant synth and stirring guitars, vocalist Abner James sings, “We could forget the plans that we have made / And you and me could be / Forever.”
Besides these downhearted moments, there are other tracks on the EP that illuminate the brighter side of love and relationships. The title track is a compelling indie pop love song with a lively production and soft vocals. It draws on the beauty of the moment, when you are with the right person at the right place and everything flawlessly comes together. Such bliss can also be found on “Know Me,” which celebrates the strength of love. The light melodies and gentle percussion comfort us as Abner sings, “Sometimes I feel I’m not enough / You always help me stay above it / Always showing me what love is.” This track pairs well with “Thinking of You,” which closes out the EP. Starting off quietly before giving way to electric guitar and hovering synth, “Thinking of You” is about singling someone out at the end of the day and picking that person over everybody and everything.
Overall, The Night Sky is a bittersweet listen. The tracks are reflective and nostalgic, as the lyrics and music come together to set the scene for heartbreak or joy. Eighty Ninety are experts at crafting a mood, knowing when to lean into certain lines or downplay a melody to portray the feeling they wish to achieve. By giving us these moments, they are giving us possibilities as endless and as complex as the night sky.
You can listen to The Night Sky on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.