The Early Mornings – Unnecessary Creation EP Review

Self Released – 2021

The latest and greatest act to emerge out of Manchester’s ever fruitful DIY scene comes in the form of 3-piece The Early Mornings. Consisting of Annie Leader on guitar and vocals, Danny Shannon on bass and Rhys Davies on drums, the group are emerging at the renaissance of punk. The summit of the jagged guitar line. Recorded mostly in one day the band sought to capture the spirit of the sporadic nature of a live setting.

Through Leader’s thick Northern accent and occasional dead-pan delivery the group have distinction come naturally to them. Their sound draws influence from the likes of The Breeders through their angular guitar lines and popping beats. And on “Departure From Habit” they evoke the early melancholic raw sounding days of Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit… album through their sharp and sheer guitar lines and downbeat vocal deliveries. The band don’t just pay homage to this icons of indie, but turn this sound into something uniquely raw and fresh at the same time.

The name of the EP comes from a poem written by Davies “I punctuate my days with Unnecessary Creation”, referencing art and general everyday nothing and the lack of necessity that humans fill their time with. And immediately after the introductory “Legal Length” we are thrown into the bleakness of the every day with Leader singing “Perfect weather / to get sacked / Days spent seeing how long you let the match” on “Days Spent”. Soundtracked by a cacophony of searing guitars and off-kilter beats, the band seek to bring excitement to the mundane. They perfectly capture the come-down of losing sight to hope as the burst of energy that opened the track soon dies out into slowly wandering guitar lines and melancholic bass lines.

The juxtaposition of bright chords and dysphoric lyrics continue on “Not Content” delivering one of the bands most summery sounding sounds, whilst simultaneously being one of the most downbeat lyrically. “Where are you? / I want you” repeats Leader on the chorus as she wallows in lost love. And closing the EP with the swaying of “Blank Sky” the band distill their sound to its core. Crashing guitars, an infatuating chorus and a whirlwind of movements that’ll leave you wanting to head-bang and groove along all at the same time.

The band may be still be in their early days but the sound they capture on this EP is one of absolute conviction. They’ve emerged at the perfect moment, distilling the bleakness of the last year of everyone’s mundanity whilst offering a sharp slice of excitement that everyone is so desperately clinging onto.

Courtney Barnett & Vagabon share cover of Sharon Van Etten’s “Don’t Do It”

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

Courtney Barnett and Vagabon have shared their cover of Sharon Van Etten’s “Don’t Do It”. The cover is a part of Van Etten’s upcoming epic 10th anniversary reissue in which various artists such as Fiona Apple, IDLES and Shamir cover a song each from Van Etten’s album. The album is set to be released on April 16th via Ba Da Bing.

Speaking on the collaboration Vagabon said:

“Courtney and I found that we have a beautiful collaborating chemistry when we made our cover of ‘Reason to Believe,’ which came out earlier this year. So when CB asked me to join her in singing ‘Don’t Do It’ by the inimitable Sharon Van Etten, I was thrilled! ‘Don’t Do It’ is one of my favourite tracks off epic and it was such a pleasure to do a version of it with Courtney.”

Courtney Barnett also added:

I was so honoured that Sharon invited me to be part of this project. She is one of my favourite songwriters and such an inspiring artist, performer & encouraging friend to me. This song “Don’t Do It” is powerful and personal, I really didn’t know how to make it my own, in fact I tried to pick a different song and convinced myself I wasn’t up to the task, but Sharon was quietly supportive the whole time. in the process of talking vulnerably about the lyrics with her, I had to delve deeper into what the song meant for me. It’s fascinating to hear an artist ruminate on a song that is 10 years old and see how it/they have evolved. I think it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate the journey of a song.

I went into the studio a few days after Melbourne lockdown lifted. Stella Mozgawa played drums and I played guitar and we built the song from there. A week later I was talking to my friend Lætitia (Vagabon) we were saying how we should collaborate more. I nervously asked if she’d be interested in singing with me on this song and I’m so glad she said yes, her voice sounds incredible and really made the song feel complete. After nearly a year of solitude, I was so grateful for this opportunity to create something different with people that I greatly admire. And it seemed perfectly strange that the last time I was on a stage pre-COVID was with these three people.

Listen to the new cover below.