Envy Of None, a new project featuring Alex Lifeson (Rush), Andy Curran (Coney Hatch), Alfio Annibalini and vocalist Maiah Wynne release their atmospheric self-titled debut album in April. Clear your mind of any preconceptions – this is not a Rush record, but is sonically closer to the cinematic and dark art rock atmospherics of Massive Attack and Nine Inch Nails. The first single “Liar”, which features a driving fuzz bass from Curran and atmospheric guitars from Lifeson, is reminiscent of A Perfect Circle and the dark pop of Depeche Mode, and “Dogs Life” sounds like the band Garbage. However, this is a distinctive album. From the opening up-tempo track “Never Said I loved You”, Wynne’s ethereal and melodic vocals take centre stage (with the exception of the final track, a warm and rich two minute acoustic instrumental “Western Sunset”, a tribute to Neal Peart), but listen to the layers. A distinguishing feature of the record is the way Lifeson’s guitar imaginatively dances with Wynne’s vocals, particularly on two of the highlights, “Old Strings” and the stunning “Kabul Blues”. With Rush, he always served the music before himself, and this continues with Envy Of None, for example, the opening bars of the seductive “Look Inside” sound like a keyboard, but it’s actually a guitar. The lyrics contain powerful imagery, such as a flower in a gun in “Enemy”, which seems to take on new meaning since the Russia / Ukraine war began (although it was written before). It’s a concise and precise album – only one track is longer than five minutes, and none of them wander around for long. One of the most imaginative albums of the year, “Envy Of None” is more lush and less Rush.
5/6 | Anne-Marie Forker
Release date: 8 April 2022