Having diversity in an album is as important as having technicality. Luckily for Elder Brother, they've employed both. Elder Brother builds dynamic songs in Stay Inside, their sophomore record with a lot of energy and drive.
There's a special sort of diversity in Stay Inside. All the music falls under an umbrella of sounds, but each sound is unique in its own right. The peaceful start 'Greatest Hit' paves the way for the tantalizing melodies in 'No Reason,' its big drive bringing a bustling load of energy early on for the record. 'Sway' is just as huge, its mathy riffs leading into something angry and big at its end. 'Unnatural History' builds epically too, its lyrics painting a unique yet effective picture of society: "Spiders casting votes, and shadows on the walls / Spiders giving notes, storming city halls." Even 'I Don't Miss You' has a very unique vibe, sounding like a bluesy take on Pianos Become The Teeth.
Inlaid into Stay Inside is quite a bit of pain. An unshakable sense of imperfection, anger, and longing is part of every song. At times, the sentiments are sweeter, especially towards the end of the record. 'Battle' is a very sweet and genuine song, and 'Earthbound' tells a beautiful story as well. It takes a minute to get to these more reflective songs, though. Songs like the hopeful yet hopelessly optimistic 'You & Me Forever' is one such track, as well as the longing 'Wish You Were Here' with its big, emotional build. Closing track 'I Don't Think It Stops' ends on a somber note, acknowledging that the pain of what was lost doesn't quite ever go away. The song begins quietly but slowly becomes more and more driven, the emotions piling on and becoming stronger with each passing line.
Elder Brother builds dynamic songs in Stay Inside, drawing upon emotions to paint a diverse and powerful album. There's a lot of pain written into the music, and with its longing and strife, something beautifully broken is created. It's hard to not feel even a bit of the same pain while listening.
Favorite Tracks: I Don't Think It Stops, Earthbound, Unnatural History, No Reason
Least Favorite Track: You & Me Forever
Rating: 80 / 100
Stream or buy Stay Inside on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: