Treetop Flyers “Treetop Flyers” (Loose Music, 2018)

Londoners, Treetop Flyers, return with their eponymous third album, continuing where they left off with their excellent 2016 release ‘Palamino’.  The decision to make this record self-titled is more than apt, as it is the most confident that Treetop Flyers have sounded in themselves yet, largely following a formula of dreamy, mellow 60s-style melodies interspersed with dashings of psychedelia.

The soulful ‘Warning Bell’ kicks things off, followed by the tender folky ballad of ‘Astral Plane’ as the Flyers gently ease the listener in. The subtle underlying groove to ‘Fleadrops’ could well be an ‘Abbey Road’ outtake before the band properly let loose with the catchy, old-school chorus on ‘It’s Hard To Understand’, sprinkled with hints of mellotron for good measure.

It is on the second half of the record, however, that ‘Treetop Flyers’ as a piece of work really shines. The band experiment sonically more than they ever have before, and they sound entirely comfortable in doing so. ‘Needle’ centres around the looped section at the end of a vinyl record beneath frontman Reid Morrison’s gorgeous falsetto coupled with soaring saxophone. After the eight-minute, psych-fuelled jam of ‘Art Of Deception’, which wouldn’t sound out of place on any Grateful Dead record, guitarist Sam Beer takes over lead vocal duties on the fantastic ‘Kooky Clothes’. Boasting another hook-laden chorus, the guitarist sings “you don’t owe me anymore, leave me alone”, eventually giving way to another virtuosic jam as Beer and frontman Morrison trade riffs to play us out.

What with there currently being a country-tinged soul revival of sorts happening, with the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and The Lone Bellow enjoying immense levels success in recent times, it isn’t inconceivable that this latest offering from Treetop Flyers could see them finally gain some proper mainstream recognition.

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