Everyone All at Once
UK: 29 Apr 2010
Canada Release Date: 14 Jul 2009
It makes some sense that the Rest get compared to fellow Canadians the Arcade Fire—both bands use a multi-tonal cast of players to round out their emotionally and instrumentally expansive ruminations, and each frequently revel in similarly escapist imagery of childlike innocence. Below this surface, however, the Rest inhabit a fairly different world, one which relies just as much upon more ethereal atmospherics as on catchy immediacy. At one point they proclaim “We could live forever, five miles underwater!” with unbound exuberance, perfectly capturing the group’s path of imaginative ineffability that begs to be deciphered. The ebb-and-flow of Everyone All at Once frequently swells into an anthematic swirl of guitars, organs, strings, woodwinds with a propulsive beat to tether it all together, but it equally emphasizes the more tempered spaces in between. This makes way for prime moments such as the arresting “Drinking Again”, where co-vocalists Adam Bentley and Anna Jarvis trade off in hauntingly gorgeous conversation over acoustic guitar.
Each track seems to be a medley onto itself, with intricately woven pieces building and receding off one another with expert precision, and the generally fragmentary lyrics follow suit. Perhaps the best encapsulation of all this is “Walk on Water”, a late-album highlight which brings to mind the warped pop and vocal style of yet another group from Montreal, Spencer Krug’s Sunset Rubdown project. The song takes an unexpected mid-track break from all its driving grandiosity for a bouncy slice of joyous Beach Boys pop, afterwards returning rejuvenated to finish what it started—a transition signaled merely with one spirited yell of “Whoop!” Things conclude with the title track, another solid gem that whips through a bunch of great ideas and impenetrably compelling imagery to end up in a beautiful place: “Hiding in the cold cellar / Kissing in complete silence”.