Indie rockers All This Huxley turn in an impressive follow-up to their self-titled debut in the stylish and experimental Home, Stockholm, which is coming out everywhere this July 5th. Stylized as a summer EP, Home, Stockholm features some of the smartest numbers that we’ve heard from the band so far in tracks like “Comrade II,” the mischievous “Stockholm,” and the addictively dark “One of These Things” (my new favorite song by All This Huxley). The caliber of content is superior to what we heard in their virgin offering, and if you had the pleasure of scoping that album out back in 2017, you’re going to absolutely fall in love with what the group has compiled for us in this most recent effort.
“One of These Things” features a rollicking rhythm that supports its dexterous bassline beautifully without giving itself completely over to the low-end grind of the grooves. On the contrary, the more fluid “Dunkirk” embraces the eccentric side of the band’s sonic profile and washes us in colorful textures that are only partially generated by the guitars (the rest, dare I say, comes from the devastatingly decadent reverb that they’re outfitted with). Home, Stockholm is rife with very atmospheric melodies, but the arrangements of its key songs are anything but shapeless. The surrealism that binds the beats in “Comrade II” flexes plenty of muscle in the Neil Young-style “Ring Buoy,” if not a tad bit more than I would even expect out of All This Huxley.
This record boasts a really focused production that makes the tender nuances in “Dunkirk” and “Stockholm” all the softer, and tighter licks, like those in “Ring Buoy” or “One of These Things” for example, a heck of a lot more physical. The master mix isn’t oversaturated in frills, but with sonically sprawling material like this, I don’t see any reason why it would need to be. We’re constantly being drawn closer to the nucleus of the album’s instrumental narrative through the vortex-like construction of the tracks, which rivals the hypnotic effect of a much more psychedelic fodder than what All This Huxley have become known for. This is undeniably an exercise in cerebral melodicism, but it’s by no means anything less than a masterfully meticulous collection of sharp songcraft and bold electric balladry.
Glowing with minimalist grooves and powerful pop harmonies to match, Home, Stockholm is an excellent addition to All This Huxley’s discography, and in my opinion, an evolutionary quantum leap in the right direction for their sound. Where their debut gave us a hint of what they might be capable of if left to their own devices, Home, Stockholm exploits everything that this band brings to the table for all it’s worth – and then some. They’re leaving no stone unturned here, and while they’ve still got plenty of ground left to cover in future endeavors, I think it’s safe to say that this latest release from the Philly phenoms is their best work yet, and more than enough reason to keep a close eye on their forthcoming output.