‘The Loved Ones’ is the long anticipated debut from London four-piece Flyte. It’s been some time in the making – about 3 years in fact. Flyte separately admit that as early as age ten, a career in music was their only ambition. Drummer Jon Supran and bassist Nick Hill met guitarist and lead vocalist Will at their local comprehensive school, where Will’s parents both taught English. They later came upon keys player Sam Berridge busking at Tottenham Court Road station after moving to Hackney in their late teens.
In that time, Flyte have built quite a repertoire of original compositions and fantastic covers, one of which finds its way onto this album (Archie, Marry Me). There has been a very obvious development of the band over that time culminating in this debut release which is incredibly impressive. Right from the beautifully arranged and produced opener ‘Faithless’ you know you are in for something special. You are taken on a journey through 10 songs where the focus is on speaking directly to the listener, telling stories and moving hearts. This is one of those rare albums where every song deserves a place – there is no filler here.
‘The Loved Ones’ is one of the most accomplished debuts of 2017 and possibly recent years and sounds like a band that have created a magnum opus rather than their debut outing; it is clearly the result of years of enlightenment and friendship. I think the production of Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Liam Finn) can also take some of the credit for this. It is crisp, ambitious and honest. It’s clear that this is a band who trust each other and their production team to get the best from their writing and their voices. This feels like an authentic recording of four friends who have worked hard over many years to bring the best out of each other and create something that is many times greater than the sum of its parts.
The vocals throughout are simply sublime and are comparable to the great harmonies of classic purveyors of power pop like Badfinger, Sloan and The Raspberries. Power pop doesn’t really do this justice though, because in addition to the luscious vocals there is an intelligence to the lyrics, structures and arrangements which aren’t normally found in the simplicity of a power pop album.
Cathy Come Home (along with opener Faithless) is one of the standout tracks; a fabulously arranged and produced song with a tone that belies its subject matter – a plea from a loving parent to a child to leave an abusive relationship. It uses its lyrical palette deftly to create a heart-rending tale that any parent can empathise with:
Maybe you’re right
We’re holding on too tight
It’s hard to say, there’s no right or wrong way
To love your child
The craft on display on ‘The Loved Ones’ is impressive; each listen revealing something new, a lyrical meaning previously unknown or a chord progression newly noticed. Over and over again, the lead vocals of Will Taylor and the harmonies that accompany him are pure joy. Think Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear with occasional hints of McCartney in there. Listen to the final track, a stripped down cover of of the Alvvays classic ‘Archie, Marry Me’ to see these stunning vocals on open, unadulterated display.
To coincide with the album release, the band have also unveiled the first instalment of ‘Behind Sliding Doors’, which documents early sessions in the studio, from the perspective of producer Burke Reid and created by their good friend Balan Evan. You can see that these guys enjoy each other’s company.
Cathy Come Home
Orphans Of The Storm
Little White Lies
Annie And Alastair
Archie, Marry Me
Catch Flyte on tour during September and October:
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
Connect with Flyte