Artist Spotlight / Let's Talk About Flyte

“Each song feels like something to savor, immediately infectious yet with hidden depths, a love for lush melody coupled with a literate edge" (Clash Magazine discussing Flyte’s debut album The Loved Ones). I had to use this exact quote to introduce one of my new favorite bands because I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Before you continue reading, pull up your closest music provider and listen to “Marry Me Archie” by Flyte. It’s the final song on their debut album and it’ll give you a good sense of just what kind of band this is. Take a moment to yourself, sit down, relax and really listen. 

I’ve been wanting to talk about this band for a while. Last year I found one of their songs on a Spotify-made playlist and I loved it. A little while after that I decided to listen to some of the other songs on their debut album titled 'The Loved Ones'. I could tell just by the album cover that this band was going to be something special. It drew me in immediately. It’s simple, bold, timeless and I desperately want it on a poster for my wall. I’m forever wishing I was good enough at graphic design to create something this wonderful.

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The band is comprised of four guys from London: Will Taylor (lead vocals, guitar), Nick Hill (bass), Sam Berridge (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Jon Supran (drums, vocals). In an interview with Clash Magazine, the band reveals some of their biggest influences. They say that literature plays a large role, for they took the name Flyte from the fictional character Sebastian Flyte of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited”. They carried over themes from the novel into the aesthetic of the band- prominently that of “the mourning of a lost time” and “the golden nostalgic eras that are now in crumbling ruins”, the band explains.

This theme shines brightly through each track on their debut album. It feels and sounds timeless, like it could have first been listened to on a 45 in a parallel universe of jumbled up decades. The band aimed to combine all the best parts of pop, rock and roll and the lyricism of art, literature and film. They’ve definitely succeeded at this and in my opinion, have achieved nothing short of brilliance.

An immediate comparison I made when first listening to this band is The Beatles. Now I know this is quite a heavy comparison to make, but it's a band of four British guys with a very similar musical style. They hold a combination of soft/folk/pop rock genres with character-based songs and inventive vocal harmonies that just make you melt. The opening to their song "Faithless", in my ears, could have almost been echoing layers of Paul McCartney's beautiful, raw voice. A trio of skillfully layered background vocals shortly enters in along with a tambourine. These are both commonalities of Beatles’ songs and other bands of the 60s/70s such as The Beach Boys. The music video proves this comparison even further, for the band is shown performing on a modernized 1960s bandstand setup complete with strong colors and an individual platform for each member and their instrument.

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Do you ever listen to a song for the first time and are just taken aback? Like you didn’t expect it to stop you in your tracks and affect you the way that it did. And you want to share it with anyone and everyone because you love it so much and you’re so excited you discovered something so amazing and brilliant. And then you make them listen to it and you love it when they love it, or you're disappointed when the song ends and you can tell it didn’t rattle them to the core. Well for me, “Archie, Marry Me” is that song.

My favorite song on this album, “Archie, Marry Me”, actually happens to be a cover. The original song is by the Canadian, indie, pop band Alvvays. Now for the first two months that I obsessed over this song, I had no idea it was a cover, so when I discovered that it was, I was anxious to listen to the real version. At first, I was a little disappointed that the beautiful lyrics didn’t directly flow from the band that I had thought. I am also almost always the person to say that the original is, more times than not, better than the cover, but I didn’t know how anything could be better than Flyte’s version of that song. Let me tell you, it doesn't even compare. The original song is what it is, but the two are so completely different in every sense. They serve different purposes. It’s like when you hear an acoustic cover of a song you’ve always loved and for the first time put an actual meaning to the words they’re singing. Flyte’s cover allows for this. There’s no complex melody, only a few verses, the song lasts for two and a half minutes and it’s incredible. It grows and expands as it pulls every ounce of you in. It’s as if they’re pulling my heart from out of my chest and exposing it to open air for the first time.

Along with their album released in 2017, Flyte has an EP titled Moon Unit that came out this past year. Their music is available on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and you can also find them on Soundcloud (with a few of their singles not previously mentioned). If you weren’t familiar with them before, I hope you are now because I don’t see them stopping anytime soon. To my knowledge, they have not confirmed a release date on their new album but have hinted towards working on new music on their social media platforms. Fingers crossed we get that soon!

I will leave you with this hauntingly beautiful video of the band singing their song “Orphans Of The Storm” in a staircase. I get chills every time.