Although Eels are often marketed as a full-fledged band, singer/songwriter E (real name: Mark Oliver Everett) is responsible for the group's sound and direction.
By his early twenties, E was recording demo material on a used four-track cassette recorder, and eventually decided to pursue his rock & roll dreams by relocating to Los Angeles where he formed Eels along with bassist Tommy Walter and drummer Butch Norton in 1995. Their debut ‘Beautiful Freak’ was released a year later and spawned the sizable radio hit ‘Novocaine for the Soul’, raising the group's popularity in England and resulting in a Brit Award win.
What should have been a time of great promise for E turned out to be one of tragedy, as both the singer's sister and mother passed away in quick succession. This was compounded by Walter's departure from the group. The dark mood resonated in Eels' sophomore effort, ‘Electro-Shock Blues’.
2000’s, ‘Daisies of the Galaxy’ offered a slightly brighter outlook and featured a guest appearance from R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, who also helped co-pen a track. In the same year E began preparing for Eels' fourth studio release, turning to John Parish for song writing assistance. The two created ‘Souljacker’, which was issued throughout most of the world in September 2001. Around this time E also contributed the track 'My Beloved Monster' to Dreamworks animated motion picture 'Shrek'.
June 2003 saw the release of Eels' fifth studio album, ‘Shootenanny!’ Its follow-up, 2005's ‘Blinking Lights and Other Revelations’, was an ambitious double album including 33 songs. E continued to contribute tracks to the 'Skrek' trilogy in 2004 and 2007, writing 'I Need Some Sleep' for Shrek 2 and 'Royal Pains' and 'Loosing Streak' for 'Shrek: The Third'.
In 2008, Eels released two CD/DVD sets, the first a best-of package and the second a collection of odds & sods. The band's music also comprised the bulk of the soundtrack for ‘Yes Man’, a comedy featuring Jim Carrey. E then returned to the drawing board and emerged with ‘Hombre Lobo’, a concept album about desire, which arrived in mid-2009.
The lo-fi ‘End Times’, which revolved around the central theme of broken love, arrived in 2010, but was followed in August by ‘Tomorrow Morning’, a much more polished album of upbeat optimism that relied heavily on analog electronics to drive its songs. Eels' tenth album — the eccentric, hard rock-focused ‘Wonderful, Glorious’ - arrived early in 2013.
Eels most recent album, the stripped-down, acoustic, and lightly orchestrated ‘The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett’ was released on 22nd April 2014.