Review: Treetop Flyers – To Bury The Past

by Katherine

treetop_flyers_packshotTreetop Flyer’s prerogative seems to be conjuring up an overwhelming sensation of a time long gone- from the idyllic, faded album cover right down to the band’s bearded, black and white promo photos – so it’s easy to accuse them of being false, but it’s hard to be churlish when the aesthetics are balanced by music just as quaint and sweet.

‘To Bury The Past’ is a somewhat ironic EP title for a band so deeply seeped in it as Treetop Flyers undoubtedly are – comparisons to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has been rife – and their first release of quaint folk is certainly nothing groundbreaking, but pleasingly familiar, every guitar lick and pluck pleasantly predictable.

‘To Bury The Past’ is 25 minutes of lush, sepia-toned folk music, and although Treetop Flyer’s style is obviously derivative, it’s also wonderfully sweet and surprisingly well-executed for a band frequenting West London’s pubs – ‘Is It All Worth It?’ boasts some gorgeous acoustic guitar plucking, and ‘Old Days’ skilfully executed slide guitar, suggesting that young folk acts taking pointers from the greats might not be such a bad idea after all – and although the tracks on ‘To Bury The Past’ slip soothingly out on ear and out the other, it creates a cosy ambience, like heat radiating from a warm fireplace.

But it’s not all achingly archaic on ‘To Bury The Past’ – On ‘Is It All Worth It’ Reid’s voice  strikes a startlingly similarity to Johnny Flynn, suggesting that Treetop Flyers court a far younger crowd, rather than the grizzled Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young enthusiasts their aesthetics suggests.

It’s easy to be dismissive, and accuse Treetop Flyers of playing off the success of other sixties-inspired bands, most notably Fleet Foxes, but Treetop Flyers wear their influences with a certain naivety – for them, playing this brand of harmony-filled, sun-kissed folk is as natural as the setting sun – and if mainstream success doesn’t quite beckon for Treetop Flyers, then a well-deserved place in London’s prolific folk scene is assured.