THE EARLIES return with their second album for Secretly Canadian, “The Enemy Chorus,” on January 23.

The Earlies sophomore effort “The Enemy Chorus” is a hypnotic voyage through a largely aphotic locale with unpredictable bursts of light and sound – perhaps amidst the heavens, or maybe under our own feet. The album comes from a darker and less familiar place than their pop tradition-steeped debut “These Were The Earlies” (released by Secretly Canadian in 2005). While no less beautiful than that record, “The Enemy Chorus” carries a greater feeling of uncertainty, longing, anxiety, and sadness. However, these tonal changes did not happen overnight, as the seeds were planted in the sunny, pastoral pop fields of that first album. The Earlies started as a recording project, with the four core members swapping tapes and trading files from their home studios. Over time, the vision grew, as the core of four enlisted the help of other musicians to translate their music to a live show – at times featuring 12+ musicians. The group’s production skills have been greatly refined – at times, reminiscent of Nigel Godrich’s great layered atmospheres. The approach to recording is essentially the same, though, and the distinct “Earlies sound” remains intact. Their listening habits changed considerably between the recording of the two albums – exploring the depths of progressive and krautrock. Influences range from the essential work of Faust, to prog greats Gentle Giant, to the musique concrete madness of Jean-Claude Vannier.

“The Enemy Chorus” would not be truly complete without the right artwork. For that task, The Earlies called upon Michael England. After repeated listens to the album, England delivered the perfect visual accompaniment. The group can best explain it themselves: “He discovered the hidden concept album within, and the whole album made more sense to us upon seeing his artwork than it ever had previously.” For more info on England’s work, check out

“The Enemy Chorus” includes help from many of the same musicians who played on “These Were The Earlies.” However, there are a couple new players, including Rishi Dhir of The High Dials (Rainbow Quartz), who casts a spell with his sitar on the album’s closer “Breaking Point.” The Earlies have lent their production talents to the likes of King Creosote (679/names), Micah P. Hinson (Jade Tree), and Leona Naess (MCA), as well as remixing tracks for Hot Chip (Astralwerks) and Tunng (Ace Fu / Full Time Hobby). JM Lapham of The Earlies also collaborates with Micah P. Hinson under The Late Chord moniker. Their debut EP was released on 4AD; their first full-length is due in 2007.

“The Enemy Chorus” will be available in all good record stores on January 23, 2007. For an early taste, a free download of the lead track “No Love in Your Heart” is now available: