Raleigh band Annuals is back temporarily to give a taste of new tunes on their EP, Wet Zoo. Fresh off a winter tour with Manchester Orchestra and about to gear up for a short summer spin around the country, the six-piece split the new EP with sister band Sunfold, who share some of the Annuals lineup.
The five song disc is exactly where the band sounds' should be like right now in between records: experimental in transitioning into a new phase, testing out some material, and different. Wet Zoo is exciting in the fact it shows what their full length's power will be.
Opener "Sore" encompasses all the things that made the North Carolina band so great: lead vocalists Kenny Florence and Adam Baker belting out dreamy and sharp belly tones, quiet buildup of strings into a burst of energy mid-song for a dynamic change in tempo. "Around Your Neck" carries a great folk tempo. "Just Stay In" is the most successful and strongest on the EP, incorporating an almost Bjork-like luminous arrangement of strings and soft blips, pacing along quietly and steadily for such a beautiful, romantic feel it's hard not to want to cuddle next to someone. The vocals are earnest and genuine, the slow strums on the acoustic guitar just right, and the cadence slow enough for infinite dreams to follow.
"Watering Pail," one of two songs belonging to Sunfold on the EP, opens with a great indie rock hook to lead into a fantastic drum line, and still incorporates the build-up factor Annuals have been able to perfect. The band has great things in store for them; see 'em now before widespread fame takes them away.