By Annie Zaleski
With apologies to the great Scottish post-punk band Orange Juice, sometimes the only way to move forward in life is to rip it up and start again. That's the premise of the first (and title) song on Eels' forthcoming twelfth studio album, The Deconstruction, which is due out April 6. "The deconstruction has begun," Eels mastermind Mark "E" Everett intones at the start of the tune. "Time for me to fall apart. And if you think that it was rough, I tell you, nothing changes, 'til you start to break it down." E gives particular emphasis to those last three words, a deliberate choice that illustrates the gravity of this unraveling.
In a clever twist, the song reiterates that the pending reconstruction won't result in a totally new person — just a rearranged version of the self: "But little pieces on the floor, they're made of what I was before I had to break it down." Sonically, "The Deconstruction" is also in line with this approach: It's both classic Eels and a slight update of the group's sound. The song is anchored by soft-glow keyboard droning, mechanical-sounding beats, and a recurring string melody that darts like a festive sparkler. However, "The Deconstruction" also has unexpected texture (backmasked effects and what sounds like a sample of woodwind-heavy vaudeville music) and a '70s pop-inspired bridge glittering with flutes and falsetto vocals. An audible hissing noise that resembles the playback of a well-worn vinyl record lurks beneath it all, giving the song a timeless, classic feel.
You can follow Eels on Facebook here and catch them on Saturday, June 2nd at The Showbox. Watch the band's most recent KEXP in-studio session below.
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