Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Flyte's self-titled effort cultivates tranquillity and introspection


Release date: 27 October 2023
Flyte Flyte cover
24 October 2023, 09:00 Written by Tanatat Khuttapan

Now comprising Will Taylor and Nick Hill, Flyte turns inward for an inspection on the resurrection of love and optimism.

The mood and tone for their third album is vivid from the start: warm smiles, handwoven sweatshirts, recollections before the cackling mantelpiece. Its intimate soundscape suggests the quiet nature of autumn, where, despite the sombre surroundings, there is beauty in the wooden interior and the sound of leaves dancing in the wind. “Speech Bubble”, the serene opener, unfurls itself thus with the steady guitar strums and gentle piano droplets. On it, lead vocalist Will Taylor, forever lovey-dovey, vows to be everything his partner finds comfort in, his dreamy tenor matching the song’s relaxed pace perfectly.

Yet Flyte feels strange upon first listen. If we place it in line with the rest of the band’s discography, all of the gloom and heartbreak that gripped the hearts of their previous works hardly returns on the new one. 2017’s The Loved Ones is full of questions on uncertainty and trepidation. 2021’s This Is Really Going to Hurt, while sonically more similar, recoils in Taylor’s devastating breakup with a longtime partner. While Flyte isn’t devoid of melancholy per se, optimism impedes it from overwhelming the songs; using the band name as the title seals the argument that this is indeed the music they’ve aspired to make.

The acquired optimism comes with some of the duo’s starkest and most vivid songwriting. “Even on Bad Days”, underlined by the pensive chord loop, sees them exploring the positive-nihilistic attitude towards the lower points in life. “Even on bad days, I’ll fold your clothes / I’ll still kick your shins” Taylor sings, the instruments altogether sounding as quiet and contemplative as he. Crafted with Andrew Sarlo (the producer of many Big Thief projects), the feathery soundscape of Flyte is not only more intimate than the pair’s ever been but also heightens the introspective lyrics. They’re often smooth, dynamic tunes in which words find their most suitable home.

À la Neil Young, Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Flyte’s songs are self-reflections through lenses of the past. “Amy” depicts the dwindling passion, the lost interest in what one used to love – and perhaps the grief from the departure of bandmates (hence Flyte being a duo now instead of a quartet). “Making rain, as we watch from the drain / All of our friends are tired of singing with me.” Even if there are songs that sound more like unrefined demos (“Chelsea Smiles” and “Better Than Blue” need more polishment), Flyte’s self-titled output is a classic folk-rock showcase of beautiful musical pieces cultivated from tranquillity and introspection.

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