Vinyl artwork for Eels albumShort, sharp jabs of guitar punctuate Amateur Hour, the infectious opening track of Eels’ 14th studio album.

Bandleader E is at his sardonic best, expressing his joy in choosing his own food on the breezy Strawberries and Popcorn, and giving in to romantic temptation on Grandfather Clock Strikes Twelve. It’s not all fun and games though, with the album taking a melancholic detour on Stumbling Bee and So Anyway, the latter seeing E reflect on the breakdown of a relationship with a refreshing sincerity.

Equal parts self-reflective and self-deprecating, Extreme Witchcraft is proof that Eels are as essential now as they were in the ’90s.

Extreme Witchcraft by Eels is out Jan 28 via PIAS/E Works.

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