Easter Island Blasts Pent-Up Energy Into 'Always Room for Another': Premiere

Wes Gregory

Easter Island's new single, "Always Room For Another" -- premiering exclusively below -- is a song that saved the band, in a way.

The surging pop anthem, set for the Georgia group's still-unscheduled sophomore album, Island Nation, has been around since 2014, pieced together from a pair of demos the band's Ethan Payne was working on. At the time Easter Island was looking at breaking up, with one of its founding members quitting the band to go to graduate school. "We were getting ready to play our last couple of local shows, and there was this air of sadness over us," recalls Payne, who formed the band with his brother Asher. "I was playing guitar one day and found these two demos. It felt strange -- this is the end, but 'Hey, here's a new song, guys! Let's learn it!'

"So we learned it in one practice. It came together fast and we played it, and then later that year, when we decided it wasn't the end, we knew that song was very dear to us."

Payne says "Always Room For Another" is representative of the rest of the songs set for Easter Island's follow-up to its 2012 debut Frightened. "It's on the more upbeat side of the record," he explains. "There's a lot of pent-up energy in the track -- anxiety over changing circumstances, people leaving the band, moving to a new city (Atlanta, from Athens) and all the emotions that come from feeling completely out of control. There aren't really other songs more upbeat than that one, but it carries the general sort of overall energy and introspection of the majority of the record." When we'll get to hear the rest of the material, however, is not entirely clear, although spring of 2019 is a target.

"We are kind of taking our time," Payne acknowledges, "and I think that's something that's very deliberate. We felt that before some of our releases were a little rushed, before we were quite ready or felt we had the right team behind it. So this time we went in and wanted to make sure we were making the record we wanted to make and not push it too soon."

Payne also notes that, as creatives, "it's tough to decide when it's time to put your crayons down and push it out into the world." Nevertheless he says the album is "done" and that fans coming to shows on Easter Island's fall tour -- kicking off Oct. 17 in Atlanta -- will get a chance to hear some of the new material live.

"We'll be playing, like, 75 percent of the songs," Payne promises. "We did a tour in March, a bunch of festivals, and then came back and workshopped a lot of the songs after that. I always feel like there's things I'd love to change and tweak when we go into the mixing sessions. And there's always time for another (new song) or two to come out as well, so we'll see."