Record Review: Arrowflight – Arrowflight

a0225728286_10Edinburgh based three-piece Arrowflight have just released their debut self-titled EP after being successful in a bid to record at Chem 19 studio’s.

Describing themselves as alternative indie rock they draw influences from The National, Sigur Ros and M83.

Their EP starts with ‘Eastern Wind’, which starts simple in structure and acts as a powerful vehicle to carry Colin Tarbat’s vocals.

Lyrically the track paints a stark beauty with the line “I went out into a cold eastern wind, I went out into a cold eastern wind, in the dark last night before I woke by the river, Last night” being the first heard vocals on the EP.

That track matures when Alasdair Mackenzie lends his drums at 1:20, instrumentally it’s nothing extraordinary but Tarbat’s strong vocal presence and lyrics prove to be its strongest feature.

‘North’ ventures into a different direction straying away from the ambient sounds of ‘Eastern Wind’ with a more direct indie sound.

It’s quite a contrast and shows Arrowflight as a versatile band who aren’t afraid to mix different genres, ‘North’ features more elaborate drum grooves, which carry the track successfully.

There is a distinct production mark on the guitars throughout, reminiscent of surf rock style sounds of times past that really works well in the ambient nature of ‘Eastern Wind’, but fails to give us the raw edge needed in ‘North’, which sounds like it hasn’t quite made the jump from one boat to another and has one foot in each.

The highlight of this track, shows Arrowflight at their full strength, happens at 2:21 where an increase in tempo and more layers add to their sound showing they have successfully made a full transition from one boat to another even though it may have been a little late.

Mackenzie’s drums drive ‘Robust Embrace’ and the there is the nice touch of Tom Cullen’s synth style bass adding a hook to the track.

Again, it suffers from the production methods used on guitar that make it fall a little flat, however Tarbat’s vocals are a saving grace are strong throughout the EP.

‘Robust Embrace’ flows between sections while introducing an element of funk to the mix, which is refreshing and features vocal led breakdown near the end.

Arrowflight is a great release, it won’t set the scene on fire but it does show Arrowflight as an adventurous band who isn’t afraid to venture into different genres, which is something that could make them a cut above the rest in the future.

Words: Euan Coe

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