I had the pleasure of seeing Flyte last August at my favourite East London toilet circuit venue, The George Tavern of Shadwell. Flyte closed the show with an upbeat rendition of ‘Please Eloise’, evidently a fan favourite judging by the reaction of the crowd. What really stood out for me that evening however, was their barbershop interpretation of ‘Archie, Marry Me’ – the Alvvays-penned jangle-pop powerhouse of 2014. The removal of instrumentation allowed one to focus on the fine detail of singer Will Taylor’s idiosyncratically English delivery, deliciously supported by the warm thrum of vocal harmonies. I remember thinking that the band was better served by its more serious material, and resolved to pay attention to their progress.
What an absolute delight it was then to discover that ‘Cathy Come Home’, the band’s latest release, had indeed followed my intuition and progressed down a darker thematic path. It’s the band’s third release since they made the big jump to a major label, but its clear here that no artistic compromise has been made. Lyrical motifs are drawn from the 1966 Ken Loach docudrama sharing the song’s name, and examine the pressing issues of homelessness, domestic abuse and parental responsibility. It’s also a clever nod to the band’s sound which is clearly influenced by the luscious 60’s melodicism of Ray Davies and Paul McCartney. The song is split into two distinct sections, which progress at different speeds – a progressive and unconventional songwriting device for a major label act these days. The verses sound distinctly lo-fi and reminiscent of late period Elliott Smith, contrasting with the direct production of the chorus segment, however the composition is threaded by an outstanding vocal melody that weaves the chord changes and rhythmic shifts together into a cohesive whole.
Overall, it’s courageous stuff from Flyte, choosing to use their talent for writing easy-listening pop hooks to explore difficult social themes rarely tackled by groups who make such accessible music.
Flyte’s debut album will be released on August 25th via Island Records.
Catch Flyte at Scala on September 19th, or on any of the subsequent dates of their UK headline tour (featured below).
Fri 15th Sep 2017 | Joiners, Southampton
Sat 16th Sep 2017 | Patterns, Brighton
Tue 19th Sep 2017 | Scala, London
Mon 25th Sep 2017 | Portland Arms, Cambridge
Tue 26th Sep 2017 | The Waterfront Studio, Norwich
Wed 27th Sep 2017 | Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton
Thu 28th Sep 2017 | Gwdihŵ Café Bar, Cardiff
Sat 30th Sep 2017 | The Cookie, Leicester
Sun 1 Oct 2017 | The Cellar, Oxford
Mon 2 Oct 2017 | Boileroom, Guildford
Wed 4 Oct 2017 | The Polar Bear, Hull
Thu 5 Oct 2017 | Chapel, Leeds
Fri 6 Oct 2017 | The Fulford Arms, York
Sat 7 Oct 2017 | Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
Mon 09 Oct 2017 | The Bodega, Nottingham
Tue 10 Oct 2017 | Academy 3, Birmingham
Wed 11 Oct 2017 | Buyers’ Club, Liverpool
Thu 12 Oct 2017 | Exchange, Bristol