Release Date: Nov 12, 2013
Record label: Almanac
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Indie Folk
Six tracks left over from the recordings of their second album, this EP impressively manages to feel almost like an album in its own right. Revisiting their newly found brand of folksy, space rock cooked up by the band on Tales from the Terra Firma, it’s anybody’s guess why these tracks were excluded from the final cut. “Clockwatching” is about as boisterous as the band has ever been, from the blasting horn section to the cracking of lead singer Brian Briggs’s voice during the choruses.
Released in 2013, Tales from Terra Firma found English pop confectioners Stornoway expanding on their already ample blend of Merseybeat-informed indie pop and overcast, pastoral folk by integrating elements of psych-tinged art rock into the mix. Arriving just several months later, the six-track EP You Don't Know Anything goes even further in charting the Oxford-based quartet's journey from doe-eyed romantics to unpredictable, quirk-pop spell-casters, offering up a sextet of songs that didn't quite fit in with the nine that found permanence on their sophomore outing. Richly detailed and delivered with gusto, kaleidoscopic mini-epics like "When You Touch Down from Outer Space," a glitchy wonder of shimmering synths and soaring group vocals, the atmospheric, almost vaudevillian "Tumbling Bay," and the beefy, Steeleye Span-meets-MGMT rocker "The Sixth Wave" are spilling over with ideas, and would probably have fit right in on Terra Firma's ambitious back end, while the amiable title cut, a breezy two-chord shuffle that should please fans of the band's hook-filled debut, delivers the EP's most instantly gratifying moments of pop acumen.
Less an album than an EP, You Don't Know Anything rounds up six tracks that didn't make it to the Oxford folk-pop quartet's album Tales from Terra Firma. And, as is usually the case with offcuts given their own release, you can see why they were cut off. It's not that these songs are bad – the arrangements are glorious, though occasionally a little florid, and the melodies are present and correct – more that they don't sound quite right.