Eisley make some of the downright prettiest, and strangest, pop of the 2000s. The band's Laughing City and Marvelous Things EPs, which put the DuPree sisters' delicate voices in songs that sounded like dream journal entries set to music, had a remarkable sense of wonder. Not much has changed on Eisley's debut album, Room Noises, but their sound and feel are so unique that change wasn't really necessary. Their darkly whimsical music has ties to the sweetly strange work of '90s groups like the Sundays, Sixpence None the Richer, and (especially) Belly, but there simply aren't many bands that sound like Eisley around in the 2000s. Room Noises finds their sound in full flower, mixing a handful of songs from their EPs with new material that reflects the band's growth. Older tracks like "Telescope Eyes," "I Wasn't Prepared," and "Marvelous Things" are quintessential Eisley, showing the group's knack for pairing gorgeous harmonies with sentiments like "I glimpsed a bat with butterfly wings." Room Noises' newer songs are nearly as fanciful, but more varied: "Memories"'s swirling, swelling arrangement makes it one of Eisley's biggest, most ambitious-sounding songs yet, while the largely acoustic "Just Like We Do" and the more rock-based "My Lovely" abandon the band's usually lush sound for something more restrained, but still gossamer enough to be recognizably Eisley. And though they do bittersweet better than just about anybody -- especially on the brooding, shanty-esque "Lost at Sea" -- Room Noises features some of the band's happiest-sounding songs. The gorgeous, country-tinged "Golly Sandra" is equally charming and unexpected, and the DuPree sisters' pure, light voices sound like they were made to sing lyrics like "Brightly Wound"'s "I hold sunlight and swallow fireflies." And though several of the album's songs deal with relationships in relatively straightforward terms, songs like the gently playful closer "Trolley Wood" and self-explanatory "One Day I Slowly Floated Away" hint that the band's whimsy hasn't departed entirely. Good thing, too: the tug-of-war between fairy tales and real life is what makes Eisley, and Room Noises, so enjoyable.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares