Greenville based indie band Either/Or released their EP The Big Never this week, promising their prominence as yet another local powerhouse.
Front man Connor Fagan tells his story of heartbreak and homesickness, all while introducing Either/Or’s signature sound over the span of four songs. The first, “Twenty,” is an instrumental, which sets a sensitive, yet powerful mood for the upcoming tunes. It’s cerebral, mathy, and suggestive of beach rock for someone who’s never seen the beach. It creates the initial narrative of isolation and flows beautifully into the next track.
“Over Your Head” begins with more subtle guitar tones, featuring Fagan’s signature croon. His vocal stylings are brave, unique, and reminiscent of Tom Waits, had he grown up listening to Death Cab for Cutie. The line “You made your bed; it’s the same one you’ve been lying in,” emphasizes the desire for change, without the wherewithal of how exactly to go about it. It’s a melancholy look into a feeling we all know too well: figuring out the first step to take when feeling lost, and not knowing if there’s a “home” left to go back to after so much has changed. The song picks up steam with heavy drum rolls and beautiful guitar riffs, before fading out in a somewhat Explosions in the Sky fashion.
More intricate noodling leads into “In My Head,” a classic look at loneliness and the anxiety that goes along with it. The lyrics lend themselves to the likes of an expressionist painting and leave room for interpretation for each listener, no matter how absorbed they may tend to be. Yet, beautiful drum fills, heavier pop sounds, and louder vocals towards the end of the song illustrate overcoming those inhibitions. It’s not so much Fagan coming out of his shell, as it is him making the shell transparent.
Drummer Brett Wilbanks brings us into the most up-tempo song yet. On the journey through the EP, “Gullible,” is the build up to Fagan’s realization that he doesn’t have to be shy or outgoing. The band comes into their own, feeling comfortable with the faster-pace, and rocking out to it. It’s a cozy type of ambivalence, which suits them well.
Alongside Tanner Corley, and Joseph Montore, Fagan and Wilbanks have created a coming of age odyssey in an exciting new way, with their extremely polished introductory album. Fans of Pedro the Lion, Givers, and Minus the Bear will appreciate the solitary music made by a band that truly has a cohesive vision for their sound. It is emotional music for the logical fan, which helps to remind us all that we’re not alone.