With their 18th month birthday approaching this weekend, Me Not You, the project started by Nikki Taylor and Eric Zeiler, have developed into one of the best indie success stories in recent memory. Their debut single, “Bulletproof”, became a viral hit with nearly 5 million streams on YouTube and counting. Since that momentous day, they’ve played to sold-out venues across the US and opened for Gary Numan on a handful of dates. To keep the momentum going, they released their second EP, Reckoning 2, last week.
The record showcases are band that is not only maturing, but also getting bolder. A band willing to take a few chances in the name of their art. Whereas “Bulletproof” was a trip-hop / electro-pop track, Reckoning is more electro-rock. They exchanged the delirium of their beginnings for a heavier, darker, and edgier approach. It is the sound of a band not prepared to stay in neutral.
Opener “Surfers” immediately opens the doors to Me Not You’s new approach. The synths take a back seat to the coarse rhythms and searing electric guitar, which drive the melody. A haunting chill, as such, develops and envelopes around Taylor’s saccharine vocals, who recalls a chance encounter not too long ago that would change her life. Like the band’s reinvention, the song represents Taylor’s awakening. Both transformations continue on the mystifying and cosmic “Talking To Myself”. The tantalizing and trippy “Chemical Cure”, meanwhile, sees the band slightly channel their early day with a Phantogram-meets-Crystal Castles synth number, but Taylor’s message of continuing down this new path remains.
The delicate ballad, “Eventually”, is most straightforward track on the EP, but for original fans it is a welcome treat. With “Everafter”, however, Me Not You take us to the far reaches of the galaxy on this stunning interstellar love song. It commences with a breathtaking introduction before intensifying slightly to make us feel like we’re drifting aimlessly through asteroid belts and pass distant planets. The stark bass line and beats and the shallow strikes of the electric guitar take the song to its dazzling heights.
The record closes with “Straw Man”, which is the band going outside its comfort zones. Suspenseful, brooding, and dark, the duo craft a political song set in the future. As the deep echoes of the bass and beats throb in the background, Taylor tells the tale of the rise of a tyrant whose sole intention is to reign unopposed. Who wants to cut us down to feed his insatiable thirst for power. With more songs like this and more steps into bolder territory, the stars are the limit for Me Not You, and they will be the ones who reign over our hearts and minds. Their journey is just beginning.
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