Thursday, 5 April 2018

EP: No Tie Friday - Long Drives and Sunsets

No Tie Friday - Long Drives and Sunsets

Info: No Tie Friday is a four piece Indie Pop / Alternative band from Wicklow, with inspirations ranging from Bad Suns, Circa Waves, Two Door Cinema Club, The Academic and Foals. The band consists of Keith Molloy (Vocals + Rhythm Guitar), Matt Morgan (Drums), Niall McGurk (Bass) and Barra MacMahon (Lead Guitar). With only a few gigs under their belt they have already started making an impression on the Irish music scene. 

Although there were always great bands from Wicklow, lately it seems there is a burgeoning, and brand new, scene emerging from the county. You can add No Tie Friday to the growing list, the quartet just released their debut EP Long Drives and Sunsets last weekend. First off, indie pop n' rock is a genre I love, the logical next step from my teenage Britpop fanaticism, when the cluster of big indie albums from the likes of Hard Fi, Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs came out in 2005 it marked a new shift that is still echoing. One pitfall for many bands though has been standing out from a large crowd of peers and also simply just not bringing something edgy enough to the table.

When I listen to opening track 'Seasons' for the first time I breathe a sigh of relief, of course their are trademark and familiar sounds, but you can feel the difference and the authenticity, especially in Molloy's vocals. 'Forest' accentuates this feeling, it appeals to a reminiscence of young love whilst being totally relatable to in the present. The key though is that it ain't twee, with the tempo and understated glide of guitar shaping pictures of autumn dusk and journeys to meet a first love. 

The EP's title track continues in the same vein, it's whimsical with a tinge of morosity, but again No Tie Friday manage to put just the right amount of punch and energy into their rock-leanings to keep the ship above water. I love 'Working Title', strip it all down to the bones, a sweet and simple bass line is let hover in its own space and as the backing vocals join the lead it's quite mesmeric. It definitely has that lo-fi American indie vibe, and there's a lovely raw break with bass drum and lead guitar, a classic edge.

Should you put 5 tracks on your debut EP? Sometimes yes, many times no, in this instance the former, we're not stretched too thin here and with closing track 'Delay' the band very, very vaguely hint at the possibility and suitability of their sound to drift into electro-pop territory with ease. Aside from the music itself, the most appealing thing for me on Long Drives and Sunsets is that No Tie Friday stayed true to their own school, it's clear they weren't thinking of adjusting their own sound to suit someone else, or pull the wool over their listeners. They did what they wanted to do and they pulled it off, we benefited.

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