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A year ago, Eisley was still MossEisley, and the band was still on the verge of something instead of in the thick of it. But you could hear it coming, see it on the way. You wouldn't necessarily have predicted the deal with Warner Bros. or the tours with Coldplay, but you could have imagined it. Standing in the audience of one of their shows back then, it was difficult not to fall in love with it all. How the Texas group (sisters Chauntelle, Sherri, and Stacy DuPree; their brother, Weston; and their neighbor Jonathan Wilson) connected with one another and how that connection spread throughout the crowd until everyone was somehow part of it. It was everything music should be and, these days, rarely is.

A year later, little has changed, except Eisley is even better. Marvelous Things, the group's second EP for Warner Bros. (the first, Laughing City, was released in May), shows off a sound strengthened by a couple of months under the bright lights; the harmonies are watertight, the guitars tougher, the rhythm section getting in the photo instead of just providing the frame. Live favorite "Sea King" finally makes an appearance on record, and it pretty much sums up what the band is all about, with its The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe lyrics, Sunday-drive simplicity, and sad-eyed beauty. Expect even more, and better, when Eisley's first full-length arrives sometime next year, produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Guided by Voices, Elliott Smith). -- Zac Crain

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Zac Crain

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