Everything Is Different Now
Though not a complete departure, Everything Is Different Now marks a new maturity on the part of Stellar Kart. This time out, the band’s considerable energy has been channeled away from giddy rave-ups towards more worshipful expressions. True, there are still outbursts of joy here, such as a synthesizer-accented cover of Fee’s “We Shine” and an aggressive, riff-heavy take on Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In the Sky,” and the album’s title track is a careening rallying-cry in the tradition of SK’s earlier material. Overall, though, there’s an emphasis on more contemplative praise tunes, served up with the youthful idealism that has always characterized the band’s work. “Something Holy” (an electronica-tinged original) and “You Never Let Go” (a folk/pop treatment of the popular Matt Redman tune) are especially impressive. “Like the Sun” — a dreamy, Beatlesque piano ballad — lets the band explore some fresh sonic textures. Producer Ian Eskelin does a commendable job at steeling Stellar Kart towards a more nuanced sound without repressing their wide-eyed fervor, musically or spiritually.