For those of you to whom PYTs represent either the chosen people or pixelated wet dreams, here’s Eisley, a Texas-based “femo” quintet whose résumé includes being handpicked by Coldplay to open on a recent tour and whose super-young members—three beautiful sisters, their fashionably skinny brother, and an equally skeletal childhood boy friend—assume nothing and provoke only musical splendor. They don’t feign intimate knowledge of any kind of love other than the familial, and are more concerned with magic than gritty realism. They may be “Christian.” We don’t know. We don’t care.
The title of their first full-length and major-label debut, Room Noises, suggests the mystery-filled Neverland of suburban adolescence, a warm, quiet, messy, shadowy space somewhere upstairs, down the sunlight-slashed hall—comforting on the surface, potentially roiling underneath. The better-developed numbers begin with the swaying of a melancholy piano, over which lead singer Staci DuPree cries tears through her soft mouth; then they patiently expand into well-modulated rockers, their denouements made from the same ivory lace as in the intros.
No matter the tempo, the vibe is always rational—no crushes worth applying flip-flop heel to, no angst toward Mom and Pop (or the third-period algebra sub), no political ideology to puke up. The calmness throws into relief the “horses growing out the lawn” and the “bat with butterfly wings” and the friend with “telescope eyes” and “metal teeth.” From darkness, Eisley say, beams of light sprout, like flowers from dirt. The spine of nearly every one of their grainy black songs glows with a luminous vocal melody. The wordless roller-coastering lyric pursuing the strophes to “Marvelous Things” will blind your ears.
Eisley play Webster Hall March 26.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 15, 2005