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Laughing City - EP

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Album Review

Though they have musical ties to emo and indie rock, Eisley's debut EP, Laughing City, reveals that the Texas-based quintet's true musical heritage lies in the dreamy, largely female guitar pop of the early '90s. The sweet, wavering vocals of sisters Sherri and Stacy DuPree recall not only the Innocence Mission's Karen Peris and Sixpence None the Richer's Leigh Nash, but especially those of Belly and Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly, a similarity heightened by the kind of songs Eisley writes. The brooding "Telescope Eyes," one of the group's more rock-oriented songs, sounds like it could fit easily on Belly's King or on one of Donelly's solo albums; "Tree Tops," with its whimsical music-box melody and waltz rhythm, recalls the playful creativity of songs like "Feed the Tree." That's not to suggest that the band doesn't have their own musical identity, however, as swooning ballads like "Over the Mountains" and the title track suggest that by the time Eisley releases a full-length, they'll be writing even more intricately distinctive songs. While the EP's production sounds a little slick at times, especially for the band's ethereal-rock sound, Laughing City is still a promising and unique debut.


Formed: 1997 in Tyler, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A family act featuring three sisters, their brother, and their first cousin, Eisley formed in 1997 when the DuPree siblings -- guitarist Chauntelle, singer/guitarist Sherri, singer/keyboardist Stacy, and drummer Weston -- began playing whimsical, dreamy alt-pop with bassist Jon Wilson. Originally called the Towheads, they began playing local coffeehouse gigs in their hometown of Tyler, Texas, during the following year, when Stacy was just eight years old. Over the next five years, the group wrote...
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Laughing City - EP, Eisley
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