Laughing City
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mr pine
Vintage Newbie


May 20th marks eight years since the release of Eisley's first EP, Laughing CIty.


I thought it would be neat to talk about it. WHat we think now, eight years later.

as I Type this I am listening to it. i encourage you all to do the same.

first off, i did get this ep after i got marvelous things. but i listening to it and MT non stop when i get them, just waiting for Room NOises to come out.

i like how the wrapper mentioned they opened for Coldplay. LIke that was their selling point.

onto the music

#1 - I Wasnt Prepared
Its slower than the RN one. Still good. Sherri sounds almost the same. Stacy sounds younger. A good version. Beautiful for sure. But I Think I like the RN one better.

#2 - Telescope Eyes
This is version 2 of the song. Again, slower than the RN version.
It makes sense, from listening to it on the EP why they wanted this song on the album, and to push the track. but the RN version just doesnt have the magic of the LC version.

#3 - Tree Tops
I must admit I was never a fan of Tree Tops. Nor of the remix on the Telescope Eyes EP.But it holds up ok. I guess.

#4 - Over The Mountains We Go
IT doesnt have the cool intro the EP2 version has. but thats ok. Still a gritty song. Nice guitar crunch. Cool lyrics. A great tune. THey should do it love sometime.

#5 - Laughing City
A great tune. Very mellow. A nice story in the words. A great tune to end the album.

All in all its a great first major label effort. and for the price, i think it was like 4 bucks, it was a great deal. and a great starter to the band we all came to love.
I noticed that I believe sherri sings four of the five tunes (is that stacy on over the mountains?). I guess it wasnt until later that stacy sang more leads.

what do you all think?





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Last edited by mr pine on Fri May 20, 2011 12:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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TheAntrider
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This EP literally changed my life. It's that important to me, and it almost goes to the point where Eisley saved my life. They certainly bailed me out of a dark period.

I got into Eisley shortly after the release of LC (probably just a few months after, at most). I'll save the whole story for lack of time, but as far as songs go:

1) This and Telescope Eyes were tracks I downloaded from Kazaa, just to get a feel for them whilst waiting for the EP to arrive from Amazon. They were very accessible entry points, and the imagery in this song strikes me deep. So much beauty, and I really needed to remember how beautiful the world is.

2) This is the most awful mix and recording of this song, and the only redeeming value I find over the RN version is that it has "Freak." That word just cuts more, and you can feel the pain of Matthew hearing it. That's his name, right? ha ha.

3) This is the song that sold me on Eisley. It was like God speaking to me, and lifting me out of the darkness I was in. How's this for stupidly personal? ha ha. This song means life to me, if I can get dramatic ...

4) If Tree Tops sold me on Eisley, this song made me their fan forever. It brings me to tears. I'm not kidding.

5) So beautiful, and pretty much sealed my addiction. My, how life changed during and after the frenzy of repeat plays this EP got.

Yeah, I'm a real Eisley fan, got a problem with that? Laughing

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tahruh
Vintage Newbie


I can't believe it's been that long!

#1 - I Wasnt Prepared
Yikes!

#2 - Telescope Eyes
I much prefer this version. Miss the Cranberries' vibes.

#3 - Tree Tops
I only ever liked certain parts of the song, which is still true. Basically all the parts besides "When I was a young girl, trying to find my way above the tree tops."

#4 - Over The Mountains We Go
Ep 2's is one of my all-time Eisley favorites. This version is good, though.

#5 - Laughing City
Aww.

When's Ep 2's anniversary? Razz
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cynlovescandy
Vintage Newbie


These were the first five Eisley songs I'd heard, so they hold a place in my heart.

1. I Wasn't Prepared: It's just so much fun to sing along to.
2. Telescope Eyes: I can see why this song was a hit. I'll leave it at that.
3. Tree Tops: If somebody dreamed my childhood, it would sound like this. I instantly felt a connection to this song, and I still love it.
4. Over the Mountains: hands down my favorite Eisley song of all time. When I lived in Juneau, I would take daily walks down this ridiculously pretty trail and sing this song in my head.
5. Laughing City: This song is sweeter than sweet. The melody of the chorus is perfect.

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mr pine
Vintage Newbie


it is interesting, to me, to see how they have evolved as writers over the years.
from the playful youthful stuff of the past, to now, where they have experienced love and heart break.

both times are true emotions from the age they were.
i dont think sherri could of sang smarter back in the LC EP days as she does now.

i also think they were more willing to put heavier guitar sounds up front more so in the past than they do now.
i kind of miss that a little bit.
because when they do it now (many funerals, smarter) I love it.

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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Like Pine I got this immediately after, in not at the same time I got Marvelous Things. I bought them off http://cheap-cds.com if it's still going. They cell cds at cost plus s/h, and having worked music retail, paying full price never felt right to me.

Okay, in to the music:

1. I Wasn't Prepared - My 1st and favorite version

2. Telescope Eyes - So yeah, I didn't cry, but in my gut I knew this was that kind of song that should make ostracized kids cry when they hear it because of how much they might relate to it. Good thing I was a grown @$* man at the time. Playing it slower accentuates that feel, gives it more of that 90s feel that it has, which isn't a bad thing.

3. Treetops - the perfect pick-me-up after the tear jerker that precedes it. The "Young Girl" part is iffy for me, because I never was one, but I totally get that youthful nostalgia. It's a Sing-a-Long song if ever Eisley had one, which is why that line trips me up. It forces me to take the song as a narrative instead of an Anthem. Since the 1st 7 years of my life were super-idealistic ( kids, parents, dogs, woods, backyards, Tree climbing, bike riding, slip-n-slide, kickball, Dandelion Wine-ish ) it resonates. It's a great Carnival Waltz, sans the pinch of terror that other people like to throw in like Enigk did on Return of the Frog Queen.

4. Over The Mountains - Again, the first version I ever heard, and also the favorite. The sampled intro on EP2 is fine, but inconsequential to me. I have to agree with Tahruh about the Cranberries influence being a good thing on these tunes, cause Over the Mountains was the one song where I was just like Shocked they did the Cranberries better than the Cranberries have in like 10 years (at that point in time it had been 10 years since Everybody Else is Doing it So Why Can't We?). That made them having a couch on the cover of Room Noises kind of funny to me, intentional or not, since the Cranberries left it behind after To the Faithful Departed

5. Laughing City - Tear Jerker #2 for the raw nerves out there. Hearing that song, and then thinking that's what this Forum is called is... odd. Okay, it's obvious why they chose that name, but this place has a life all its own, far removed from the sentiment of that song. The story of the song is bittersweet, and very mature, the way it looks at the relationships. Wisdom from the mouths of babes, old souls, and all that jazz.

To Me, the whole EP encapsulates growing up and into your heart from childhood to adolescence to adult hood, from as someone young might view it. That's my current take away from it, not like a concept album, but the themes.

I love how in the RN review allmusic.com says that Eisley had mastered the EP format with LC and MT, but only gave those EPs like 3 stars Laughing

I do consider Laughing City a masterful work. Marvelous Things (the song) got me in the door, and Laughing City sealed the deal. Those 9 tracks made Room Noises delay inconsequential, since they played like an album, an EXCELLENT album (from the 60s or 70s though, back when it was okay to have 8 & 9 song albums).

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Last edited by wilsmith on Fri May 20, 2011 2:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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mr pine
Vintage Newbie


i guess im the only one who isnt a fan of tree tops then?
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tahruh
Vintage Newbie


mr pine wrote:

i also think they were more willing to put heavier guitar sounds up front more so in the past than they do now.
i kind of miss that a little bit.
because when they do it now (many funerals, smarter) I love it.
I miss their old lead guitar style so much. It was perfect and I don't know why they allowed it to be neutered for the albums.

Hopefully next album they'll let Chauntelle write those parts, not Max, and hopefully not inspired by his genre, either!
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


^ But Chauntelle wrote her leads on this record. I remember her tweeting about struggling on a few of them to come up with something she liked. She has a separate lead on Smarter that she used to play while Max played his, but live I think she plays his and Sherri plays a counter melody lead line and she plays her lead part over that.

One things for sure, they don't write midtempo electric guitar based songs anymore, the guitar songs are generally more uptempo and the midtempo and slower songs are all more layered with keys and acoustic guitar. I miss that old electric guitar heavy sound too, and they had such killer tone. But there are hardly any bands from that era that still write songs like that. It's unfortunate, cause they did it so well on HATS, OTM, MT, TE from LC, and even the hook on TT.

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mr pine
Vintage Newbie


id love to hear boyd's take on the EP eight years out.

hopefully he'll stop by and give a word or two!

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tahruh
Vintage Newbie


wilsmith wrote:
^ But Chauntelle wrote her leads on this record. I remember her tweeting about struggling on a few of them to come up with something she liked. She has a separate lead on Smarter that she used to play while Max played his, but live I think she plays his and Sherri plays a counter melody lead line and she plays her lead part over that.

One things for sure, they don't write midtempo electric guitar based songs anymore, the guitar songs are generally more uptempo and the midtempo and slower songs are all more layered with keys and acoustic guitar. I miss that old electric guitar heavy sound too, and they had such killer tone. But there are hardly any bands from that era that still write songs like that. It's unfortunate, cause they did it so well on HATS, OTM, MT, TE from LC, and even the hook on TT.
Oh, I know she did (besides Max's part of Smarter, of course--but that's as hard as Eisley seems to go these days), but it sometimes sounds either neutered or pop-punk/em0 inspired these days. Listening to those songs last night (it had been awhile) makes me miss her playing so, so much.
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Saellys
Vintage Newbie


Holy poop, eight years?! I just dug my copy out of a moving box--though it hasn't been that long since I listened, since this is my go-to for a quick hit of Eisley.

"I Wasn't Prepared" sounds SO young. There's a softness to Sherri's voice in this version, and an edge to Stacy's, that I just love. It makes the song seem far more genuinely melancholy than the later version, which was homogenized into yet another love song. I prefer the instrumentation and production on the original too--more jangly and clear than piercing and slightly distorted as it was on Room Noises. It doesn't matter where or when I am; the first few notes of this song take me right back to summer of 2003, when I found the last copy of the EP in a now-closed Borders after a desperate search and put it in my car stereo on the way home, and my life was forever changed.

This version of "Telescope Eyes" is my second favorite, EP2's being the first with that jazzy bridge. But I do love the slide-in intro. I also love that they didn't autotune Sherri at all, but left some wiggle room, which absolutely suits the song. I also maintain that this is the perfect tempo for this song, and the fadeout is far superior to repeating the first line in certain other versions I could name.

"Tree Tops" is what led me to coin the phrase "carousel rock". I still turn the volume all the way up every time this comes on shuffle in my car. I love the power in Sherri's voice. I love hearing the break in Stacy's voice just before the second chorus. I love the rumbly guitars. I love the way Weston throws it all out there on the last chorus. And I love the lyrics so, so much. WB wanted anthems for Room Noises--they missed one. And that shimmery bridge still gives me chills. I remember reading that Chris Martin played this at soundchecks during the Coldplay tour Eisley supported; I still want to hear that someday. I think this was the point in the EP where I well and truly fell in love with Eisley, and the fact that they could fit so much fairytale bliss and so much punk attitude into the same song.

The only way I can describe "Over the Mountains" is magical. They had so much groove on these early songs. This one really made me get into harmonies, and exploring all the different ways to blend multiple voices. And oh God, that Rhodes sound on the bridge. Love

"Laughing City" is a perfect bookend to "I Wasn't Prepared"--so young, so sad, and so wise. The acoustic guitar arpeggios are the perfect touch, and I love the dual panned solos on the bridge. Just an early glimpse of what naturally brilliant musicians the Duprees are. It's also lovely to hear a string arrangement that's not overwrought.

I would be remiss in not including a shoutout to Boyd for his exceptional design work on the CD and packaging. I will never understand how he's managed to tie all of Eisley's releases together with a consistent aesthetic and keep it looking fresh at the same time. Truly an inspiration.

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Shadow Mouse
Sea Post King


Sadly, I do not own a copy of Laughing City. Sad

I know most of the songs though. And yes I love love love Tree Tops! Very Happy
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Last edited by Shadow Mouse on Sun May 22, 2011 3:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Laughing Citizen


I hate how i forget to copy my post before pressing the Submit button. It took me too long like it usually does... I did listen and try to contribute and I'm sorry. Crying or Very sad
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freakinalex
Lost at Forum


I don't think I've listened to the Laughing City EP (or the Marvelous Things EP for that matter) in its entirety more than once or twice. I ordered both pre-Room Noises "official" EPs at the same time about 3-4 years ago (after Combinations) and mainly listened to the songs via my Eisley library on shuffle. Thanks to this thread, I may have to go back to Laughing City (and Marvelous Things) as a standalone EP.
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