ALBUM REVIEW: Flyte Turns to Love in Self-Titled Album
Filled to the brim with a quiet optimism, Flyte, consisting of London-based songwriters Will Taylor and Nick Hill, offers their third album to a world where it’s desperately needed.
Coming off the reflective grief of This is Really Going To Hurt in 2021, Flyte’s self-titled is a return to loving, and a re-discovery of the safety and certainty that comes alongside it. Learning and loving go hand-in-hand across the eleven track LP, giving the album a tenderness and intimacy unmatched by Flyte’s past efforts.
With noted inspiration from Taylor’s newfound relationship with fellow singer-songwriter Billie Marten, Flyte at times feels more like a lesson in healing for the duo. “Heartbreak, it takes practice / but I think I’m getting better at this,” rings out in the album’s opening track “Speech Bubble,” a sentiment echoed track-after-track as the group attempts to grapple with accepting love in a world after heartbreak.
In their past work, Flyte has proven that it’s sometimes easier to talk about heartbreak than love while you’re knee-deep in it. Love is seen as slippery and shifting, uncertain, eager, and dotted with the fear of losing something innate and secure. “I’ve been trying to hurt you / I’ve been holding you tight / I’ve been learning to love you / Am I doing it right,” sings Taylor, alongside Laura Marling on the airy and codependent “Tough Love.” Flyte asks you to remain soft despite a world that seems set on making us calloused and cold. It’s a call for connection despite the anxiety and insecurity that may come along with it – it’s about the process of loving, and finding the beauty in it.
The warmth and optimism across this record is irresistibly charming. “Press Play” and “Better Than Blue” glow from the inside out with their layers upon layers of harmonies. Flyte finds pockets of intimacy and tenderness in the small and mundane. On “Don’t Forget About Us,” a collaboration with Billie Marten, we hear Taylor and Marten reflect on their relationship through glimmers of daily life and fragmented memories. Inward-facing and level-headed, Flyte finds its success in celebrating these daily intimacies developed over time.
Their sound itself is almost as intangible as the concepts they dissect. Self-proclaimed “Alt-Folk Troubadours,” Taylor and Hill hold out unexpected harmonies over building layers of strings. It’s almost mythic and undated - and synonymous with the sound they’ve been cultivating over their past two records. In Flyte, the duo have defined their sound to a new level; it feels like they know exactly what they want to accomplish in each track, and exactly how to do it. The complex compositions of This Is Really Going To Hurt and The Loved Ones are still present, but every edge feels softened and stripped back. Each track feels grounded, allowing listeners to nestle into the album and find a place to call home.
Flyte track list:
1. “Speech Bubble” 2. “Defender” 3. “Press Play” 4. “Don’t Forget About Us” ft. Billie Marten 5. “Perfect Dark” 6. “Even On Bad Days” 7. “Tough Love” ft. Laura Marling 8. “Amy” 9. “Chelsea Smiles” 10. “Better Than Blue” 11. “Bedtime Reminder”
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