Everyone You Know are still yet to release their debut LP, but their 13-track EP, Just For The Times, is an album in everything apart from name. It sees the brotherly duo made up of singer Rhys Kirkby-Cox, and producer Harvey Kirkby spread the full breadth of their genre-spanning sound that documents the trials and tribulations of young adulthood.
The release marks their first body of work since 2019’s Look After Your Pennies, and the development of their sound since that time is evident in their latest effort. Despite hopping across different sonic directions on almost every track, with everything from garage to rock on limits, and there’s even a delicate acoustic song thrown into the mix.
Just For The Times is the culmination of their journey so far, not just musically, but maturing as people too, and over the course of the EP, the latter comes closer to the forefront.
They get the party started vigorously with the electric opener, which namedrops a coterie of musical royalty, as Rhys sings: “And you see Lennon and McCartney showing Tupac how to party, While Biggie shows respect to Aretha.” The material gets proceedings off to an energetic start and has a catchy hook. While it lacks the same level of depth as the rest of the EP, not every tune needs to offer a glimpse into the human psyche.
Partying is a theme that runs throughout Just For The Times, a sentiment felt strongly in the titular track that epitomises the kitchen disco of lockdown, looking forward to the memories that lie ahead on the horizon rather than being dour. ‘Radio’ sees EYK channels similar positive energy as Kirkby raps, “I wanna rave like that till the sun comes up, But the night don’t end, Then that tune comes on and that thing kicks in, And you’re with you’re best friend”.
However, it’s not all a celebration of rave culture, and the duo delves into the murkier aspects that come side-by-side with the good times. ’18’ is an intervention to a friend too engrossed by temptations of drugs and alcohol and lost sight of themself in the process. While the interlude, ‘No Sleep’, tells a story from the perspective of a protagonist who has fallen into that same sorry predicament.
‘Song For Remi’ is the most poignant moment on Just For The Times and starts with a conversation between Rhys and his daughter. On the emotional tear-jerking effort, as he sings over strings: “I’ve raised you, and you’ve raised me too”.
That profound spirit carries over into the rest of the album, with the prelude to the closing track, ‘Open Up’, featuring Harvey talking over the phone about the difficulty of emotionally opening up as a man before Rhys takes aim at toxic masculinity on the moving closer, ‘Your Tears’.
As a lyricist, Kirkby-Cox has a rare skillset who has the capability one minute about describing rave-induced euphoria to secretly crying out of sight of his daughter, delicately dealing with the less glamourous parts of life.
Throughout Just For The Times, EYK peel the plasters off their wounds, take off the mask of vulnerability, and portrays a rollercoaster tale about growing into adulthood.
Just For The Times is available on October 1st through Sony.