Apr 28th, 2023
The Everettes are taking big ‘Soul Steps’ in new sophomore album
Soul Steps is the second album by Berlin and San Diego based band The Everettes, who have been an insider tip in the soul landscape for a few years now. On the one hand, the title alludes to the musical footprints they follow, as their danceable music is rooted in Northern Soul, Stax and Motown and with their three female singers they carry the magic of the 60s girl groups into the present. On the other hand, the songs are also about taking steps in personal development and the paths and decisions one has to take in life with oneself and others.
The songs on Soul Steps are more mature than on the previous album and convince with their catchiness and compactness – almost all of them are shorter than three and a half minutes. Alexander Dommisch (guitar / bass) and Maximilian Schubert (drums) were mainly responsible for the compositions and arrangements in collaboration with singers Katharina Dommisch, Laura Niemeyer and Jess Roberts. With Roberts being now based in San Diego, some of their sessions even took place via zoom.
The musical influences go beyond the classic soul & R’n’B of the 60s to Beatlesque pop, 70s West Coast sounds and funk. One of the album’s strengths is that each track has something that makes it stand out, and all of them together present the band’s very own overall sound. Hamburg-based producer Dennis Rux (known for his work in band Angels of Libra) recorded the rhythm tracks and vocals in his Yeah Yeah Yeah studio with analogue equipment and also mixed the record. Guests include disco soft rocker Joel Sarakula on keys and Jean-Luc Jossa (The Ruffcats) on percussion.
Album opener “Into The Night” is an orchestral Northern Soul track about setting off into the unknown. “So Many Ways” ponders somewhere between Philly and Laurel Canyon about the inner overload of making the supposedly right decisions for oneself in life. With classic Motown pop and driving horns, “Number Nine“ helps you come to terms with yourself for the time being and decides that first and foremost you should do right by yourself. “[Just give me the] Good Life”, Jess then demands self-confidently along to swinging Brit pop references. In “Heads Up High”, Laura reflects on the ups and downs of a relationship and how you emerge from them stronger together. The song also mirrors this in its musical form, starting as a ballad with catchy horns accents and a grooving middle section. Closing the first side, Katharina questions in a cinematic 60s shuffle what too much well-intentioned advice does to you,“who I am in a thousand lessons?”
The B side begins with the album’s first single. “Soul Thing“ is a driving R’n’B anthem about what matters in life: being a good person. “Calling Out Today” defies inner demons with a haunting early 70s groove, while the uptempo blues “Red Flags” recommends freeing oneself from external, toxic influences as well. Finally, the last three songs are about interpersonal relationships and how to make the best of them: “Second Chance” is a Motown girl group shuffle with unison vocals, “Make It Right” combines sugary sweet melodies with funky rhythms and “Forever True” ends the record stylishly and smoothly with big strings.
Soul Steps is an album that seeks answers to the questions of our time firstly in oneself. How can you make your life happier for yourself and those around you? How do you grow from your decisions, even if they may not always be the right ones? It is about emancipation and mental health. About the small and big steps. And they may also lead to the dance floor.
‘Soul Steps’ out on LP / CD / Digital on April 28th 2023 via Waterfall Records