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U.K. Band “Flyte” Soars

Carrie Turek | Monday, November 11, 2013

Before I praise indie pop band Flyte’s first and aptly titled “Live EP,” I must give some background as to why I am reviewing a self-produced, mail-order-only British CD. 

 I first experienced the musical genius of Flyte when I was studying in London last spring semester. The men of the British quartet, Will Taylor, Nick Hill, Jon Supran and Sam Berridge, were assembled on a street corner at Portobello Market in Notting Hill. Though I was already primed to love Notting Hill (due to my love of the Julia Roberts film of the same name), hearing the sweet sounds of Flyte made Notting Hill’s Portobello Market one of my favorite places in London. I was so infatuated with Flyte that I returned a second time during the abnormally chilly spring with the sole hope of finding them again on their Saturday street corner. 

Fortunately for me, I found just what I came for. Flyte was not only playing to bunches of weekend market-goers, but was also flocked by dozens of video-recording listeners. It was in Portobello Market that I fell in love with the street-side melodies produced by a subtly quirky and quietly hipster-looking British quartet. 

Though their rendition of Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away” was flawless, it was their original songs like “Faithless” and “Over and Out” that drew me in. Flyte’s members not only have the ability to effortlessly harmonize with one another, but they also do so with a calmness that suggests they are playing casually in a room full of dear friends. This easy showmanship makes watching Flyte practically hypnotic; and somehow, miraculously, this levity of performance comes through on their first recording, as well. 

Flyte released 1,000 copies of their handmade and signed EP on Sept. 16, to be shipped anywhere in the world. I shamelessly ordered mine that day and waited not-so-patiently for its arrival in South Bend. The three-track EP’s only flaw is that it isn’t longer.

The EP’s opener, “Over and Out,” is a fast-paced, mobile track that boasts Flyte’s signature layered harmonies. “Over and Out” is an aural mirage of moving guitar lines, understated percussion and well-balanced vocals. 

In contrast to “Over and Out,” “Chasing Heaven,” the EP’s second track, is a perfectly subdued and simple song with vocals that call to mind the fresh and clean sounds of Vampire Weekend and Walk the Moon. 

Flyte closes their debut CD with “Words Come Easily,” a slightly haunting yet driven track full of quiet synthesizer support and piercing lyrics. Lines like “There’s always something that I mean to say, but it never comes out right” and “You shut the light behind closed doors where no one can get to me. Then words come easily” ensure that the final notes of Flyte’s EP will float in listeners’ minds for days. It is my prediction that Flyte will only continue to soar.

Currently, Flyte’s EP is not available for digital download. However, the band’s debut “Live EP” is available to ship anywhere in the world at flytetheband.com. You can also visit their Facebook page (facebook.com/flyteband) for more information.

If you aren’t yet convinced to purchase the EP from my review, check out Flyte’s YouTube videos. I suggest “Faithless” and the many videos of Flyte serenading Portobello Road shoppers. 

Contact Carrie Turek at cturek@nd.edu