The road so far has seen the Hackney group of superb-voiced musicians, trailblaze with their authentic talent and stun with their carefully crafted songwriting. Now with a Burke Reid-produced debut album and a flurry of exciting endeavours waiting in the wings, Flyte prove that they’re more than just a one-trick pony – ‘The Loved Ones’ is not a collection of tracks from their back catalogue, instead the work focuses on exploration, through intensive hand-crafting and intelligent breakthroughs.
Heading straight for the heartstrings and fuelling a clear vision of those mop-topped Liverpudlians, Faithless is ushershed in as the first manoeuvre from the London four, and doesn’t leave a dry eye in sight. This song in particular, has awarded much good fortune to the band – not just for its ‘fan favourite’ status but it’s one which the band consider to be ‘the song that got them signed’, so indeed a track that’s well deserving of its high placement and appearance on the record. Grandeur of keys waltz an almost Liberace flamboyance to Will Taylor’s candid voice as he traces a disseminating sadness of age-old understanding – that touches on forces linked to coming-of-age and the uncontrollability it identifies. It’s a plush listen; you get the feeling that the band and their producer have put their everything into the construction of this track, and it pays it dividends – the expression is all-but-touchable and the instrumentation is vivacious, leading to total submersion on the first track: a rare quality.
Whilst ‘The Loved Ones’ remains impeccably ambitious throughout, there is still time for great hints of subtlety and remarkable lyricistry that pinpoint areas of familiarity, especially considering the variances of styles and influences that run a current through the record. Orphans of the Storm is a storyteller, gliding on the power of Will Taylor’s vocal line and a cushioned bed of his band mates’ harmonies, it harks to the softly poignant tones of The Walker Brothers.
Distanced from the ’60s leg of Flyte’s constitution, Sliding Doors and Little White Lies rev forward to the ’80s for a shimmering disco-ball type of melancholy – the former is relatively downbeat but nevertheless a standout for its significant use of melodrama, which resonates impeccably. On the other end of the spectrum, Little White Lies is an all-out stomper, it has the tempo shift to thank for a lot of its appeal yet it also is fantastically catchy, and drips with memorable hooks.
Other highlights arrive in the form of a proudly kaleidoscopic Echoes, the versatile bop of Victoria Falls and the cosy charms of Cathy Come Home. Yet it is the penultimate soar of Spiral that seals our verdict; this is all-encompassing, pure harmony-based song writing – no frills, no need for them. It’s marvellously bold-sounding British theatricality, a true send-off before the surprise cover of Alvvays’ Archie, Marry Me steps in as the clearest envisionment of Flyte’s vocal talents – captured in lush 360 panorama, it’s enough to make even the reverb swoon.
‘The Loved Ones’ exhibits Flyte’s rare breed of musical aptitude and grandiosity, this is a record that’s not just the sum of its parts but one that takes on a life outside itself – an album for the listener, as well as its creator. Decidedly an astonishing achievement for a debut and one we expect, will be remembered.
Flyte’s debut album ‘The Loved Ones’ is released on 25th August 2017 via Island Records. Stream/Purchase the various formats here.
FLYTE TOUR DATES:
Fri 15 Sep 2017 | Southampton, The Joiners
Sat 16 Sep 2017 | Brighton, Patterns
Tue 19 Sep 2017 | London, Scala
Mon 25 Sep 2017 | Cambridge, Portland Arms
Tue 26 Sep 2017 | Norwich, The Waterfront Studio
Wed 27 Sep 2017 | Wolverhampton, Newhampton Arts Centre
Thu 28 Sep 2017 | Cardiff, Gwdihŵ Café Bar
Sat 30 Sep 2017 | Leicester, The Cookie
Sun 1 Oct 2017 | Oxford, The Cellar
Mon 2 Oct 2017 | Guildford, Boileroom
Wed 4 Oct 2017 | Hull, The Polar Bear
Thu 5 Oct 2017 | Leeds, Chapel
Fri 6 Oct 2017 | York, The Fulford Arms
Sat 7 Oct 2017 | Manchester, Neighbourhood Festival
Mon 09 Oct 2017 | Nottingham, The Bodega
Tue 10 Oct 2017 | Birmingham, Academy 3
Wed 11 Oct 2017 | Liverpool, Buyers’ Club
Thu 12 Oct 2017 | Bristol, Exchange