Posts Tagged ‘Sam Berridge’

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“Easy Tiger” is the group’s first new release since last year’s White Roses EP, and arrives with a video directed by BAFTA-winning director Mark Jenkin.

Vocalist Will Taylor says of the song, “When I wrote “Easy Tiger” I was exorcising shame, heartbreak, jealously; almost impossible emotions to process, I almost regretted writing it. There’s a darkness and an emotional brashness to Mark’s work that suited the song perfectly. It would have been hard to trust anyone else with it.”

Jenkin says of the accompanying visual, “The challenge was to make something that felt amorphous – to create something that has a tactile feel to it, is a single artefact, something that feels like a found film and something that is timeless, abstract and unidentifiable in some ways. For me, what’s exciting is those limitations – this is where my strength is, the great unknown.

Flyte’s “Easy Tiger” single is out now on Island Records.

Band Members: Will Taylor, Nick Hill, Jon Supran, Sam Berridge

Flyte have recently returned with their lovely new EP “White Roses”, a release that they describe as a good preview of what’s to come for their eventual next album. Over the past few years, we’ve watched indie rockers Flyte  admiring their wonderful tunes It took many years but after the release of their terrific debut album The Loved Ones last year they finally announced their first appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas and ended up following those dates with their debut New York performance, with the promise of some old songs but also, some new ones. This performance featured only half of the band, with Will Taylor and Nicolas Hill playing all the songs totally stripped down and acoustic.

The band hinted that they finished their new album, one that was described as a heavy break-up album. These songs were personal and heartbreaking, but with that whimsical folk charm that the band has been leaning into with precision with every new release. Along with “White Roses” and “I Still Believe In You” from the EP White Roses,  four other brand new songs, “Never Gonna Stop Trying To Break Your Heart,” “Never Get To Heaven,” “Everyone’s a Winner” and “Mistress America,” which was played for the very first time ever on their recent festival dates at the Deershed and 110 Above Festival .

These new songs have me really excited for the new album, The band soared as high as ever. They thanked the crowd for sticking with them for the new songs and then rewarded us with lavish performances of “Cathy Come Home” and “Faithless” from their superb debut and one of the best albums of 2017, The Loved Ones.

Flyte are Will Taylor (vocals, lead guitar), Nick Hill (bass, vocals), Sam Berridge (keyboards, guitars, vocals) and Jon Supran (drums, vocals).
The band spent the first months of 2017 in Australia putting the finishing touches to their debut album with ‘Courtney Barnett’ producer Burke Reid, a collaboration that delves deep into new sonic territory to create a modernist but timeless sound that revels in coming-of-age nostalgia, cinematic synth melodies and prolific storytelling themes of life, love and death.
One of the great treasures of 2017 came in the form of British act Flyte’s debut album The Loved Ones and I don’t know that anyone else seemed to notice. It’s a god damn shame, as it’s a wonderful album that is stripped down to just the core elements of pure songwriting bliss that it’s almost way too good for present-day consumption. I’ve been following the band throughout the years releasing singles, seeing them evolve from releasing 80’s sounding slices of Brit-pop to this more refined 60s sound that feels timeless and essential. The band went into the recording of the album not set on making a big single or moment, but rather making an album that flowed seamlessly with each track as important as the last. It’s fitting on this list that they end the album in old-school fashion, with a cover of Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me.”
Last year, vocalist Will Taylor and keys player Sam Berridge got drunk and uploaded a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ to their Facebook page. The slap-dash DIY charm and heart-wrenching voices started a Flyte-movement. Racking up over 1M streams, fans wanted more sessions, and Flyte began carefully curating covers in London landmarks with towering acoustics, earning a reputation for their trademark four-part harmonies, as well as their live sound. Pulling on all their resources, the band also started a successful sell-out club night Chasing Heaven, where friends were invited to play at intimate London venues.

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Accomplished songwriters Will, Sam, Nick, and Jon have released a flurry of alternative-indie anthems including ‘We Are The Rain’, ‘Closer Together,’ and ‘Light Me Up’ over the past few years and have amassed over 1.5M Spotify streams. Evolving together as a band and great friends.

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 Flyte’s debut album shimmers with a very English melancholy. There is ancient, churchlike resonance to the choral harmonies of “Annie & Alistair”, a tale of the twelve-step programme at Alcoholics Anonymous. There is something of Orange Juice’s sun-dappled innocence to “Victoria Falls”, and shades of Simon & Garfunkel in the beautiful acoustic ballad Orphans of the Storm, but also the spirit of the English outsider, romantic and hopeful and never entirely satisfied, running throughout the album. You can hear it in “Sliding Doors”, a Talk Talk-inspired tale of a suicide, and in “Cathy Come Home”, in which the parents of a girl whose boyfriend has been beating her up beg her to return to the family fold. Not so much drawing on his own life as seeking experiences to then reflect upon, Will’s style of writing has as much in common with George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh as it does with Nick Drake, Ray Davies, or any number of songwriters who have tapped into the English malaise for inspiration.

“Being an English songwriter is tainted ground,” says Will, “but all the poetry I’ve mustered is about the sadness and mournfulness that penetrates English life. Cathy Come Home, for example, is about empty nest syndrome, and the pain of seeing a child moving into adulthood. Orphans of the Storm gets its name from a chapter in Brideshead Revisited. Perhaps it is because I come from Winchester, which I have a massive chip on my shoulder about because it is so incredibly safe and middle class and my dad taught at the college for clever people, while I went to the local comp, but I can’t get away from that kind of sensibility.”

Flyte’s story begins at that comprehensive in Winchester when Will, aged thirteen, formed a band called the Ashbys with drummer Jon Supran. (“We had a tiny bit of hype. Lily Allen said she liked one of our songs.”) Needless to say, there was still much growing up to do, and after leaving school, after spending six months in San Francisco and a year in Paris with his then-girlfriend, Will reconnected with Jon and bassist Nick Hill, another school friend. Then in 2013 Will spotted Sam Berridge, the band’s classically trained keyboardist and guitarist, busking at Tottenham Court Road station. Ten years of waiting for something to happen, forming a band with three other musicians gifted with great singing voices, and a serious case of heartbreak — Will’s girlfriend ended things not long after Flyte came together , This gave the band all the ingredients they needed to hit the ground running.

“My soon to be ex-girlfriend made a video on an iPhone of us playing Faithless,” says Will. “It snowballed from there.”

Once the band had a deal in place with Island Records, after releasing their first single on Transgressive, and the time to devote themselves to making a great debut, Flyte released a flurry of alternative-indie anthems including ‘We Are The Rain’, ‘Closer Together,’ and ‘Light Me Up’, amassing millions of streams and a dedicated live following – having started their own sell-out Chasing Heaven club night, where friends are invited to play at intimate London venues, with many artists passing through such as Beatenberg, Toothless, and Grace Lightman. But it was one Christmas night that spelled a Flyte-movement – when Will and Sam uploaded a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ to their Facebook page. The heart-wrenching interpretation racked up over 1M streams, with fans wanting more sessions. The band began carefully curating covers in London landmarks with towering acoustics, including Heaven Talking Heads, and Archie Marry Me by Alvvays, which features on the record.

Earning a reputation for their trademark vocal arrangements, the goal was to come up with a sound that acknowledged the music they loved, from Nick Drake to Mac DeMarco to Vangelis’s soundtrack to Blade Runner, without being derivative or overly reverential. Sam says Flyte found their voice by “forcing restriction on the music, and by making the most of having four singers in the group. When we realised it was a unique thing to have four people who could sing in harmony we emphasised that. We knew it wasn’t going to sound like anything else.”

“We would be in the studio and say to each other: ‘wouldn’t it be great to have some strings here?’, or, ‘Let’s get a wicked synth line on this track,’” adds Will. “And we always conclude, ‘No, let’s do it with the voices because it will always work that way. And it’s our way.’”

No album worth its place in the pantheon is made without the spilling of much blood, sweat and tears. Flyte don’t make life easy for themselves. They never use Pro Tools, instead practising intensely, honing and crafting each song until they know they can do a great live take of it in the studio. Harmonies are captured by having three voices sing into one microphone rather than using the more common modern technique of layering with overdubs.

“None of the albums that inspire us as musicians are heavily edited, polished or overproduced,” says Sam, “so we didn’t want ours to be either.”

Each member of the band contributed to the music, to which Will then added the words, but that doesn’t mean it was plain sailing. “Our process of making music is democratic but frustrating,” Will explains. “Dreams get crushed on a daily basis because everyone has a say, so you have to let go of something you might be particularly proud of. There is a lot of arguing, crying and hating each other and I want to die most of the time, but the end result makes it worthwhile.”

 Please listen to Flyte’s life-affirming album of tightly constructed songs,

For the first single off of London-based band Flyte’s debut LP (out August 25th via Island Records), the alternative four-piece stays close to their roots. “Cathy Come Home” sets its eyes on a former schoolmate of the bandmates whose experience rings true no matter what side of the Atlantic you’re on.

Cathy is about parents struggling to let their children out into the world,” explains lead singer Will Taylor, who forms Flyte with Nick Hill, Jon Supran, and Sam Berridge. Written from the perspective of Cathy’s parents, the song addresses the young woman in question and begins contemplatively: “Maybe you’re right / We’re holding on too tight.” But its tone soon shifts, beckoning her to return for dinner. The protective call is both banal and far-reaching, an attempt to protect that’s situated somewhere between offering a shield and building an impenetrable bubble. “We were watching a lot of Ken Loach while we were writing it,” says Taylor, “hence the slightly bleak narrative and of course, the title.” In what the band describes as a “rare” turn of events, the song’s lyrics and music arrived together. Taylor also says that it’s reflective of what to expect on the rest of the album.

“The whole album is more or less a live performance, so within those limitations we’re trying to surprise the listener as much as possible,” explains Taylor, who promises “no shortage of twists and turns” within the 35-minute framework of the album (which they hope listeners will experience from start to finish). Their four voices will continue to feature prominently, and ultimately, are core to their approach. “The vocals are where we’ve been most creative,” continues Taylor, “whenever we need to make a moment in a song work better, we use our voices.”

FLYTE’S debut album (Island Records) is out August 25th, 2017.