The Treetop Flyers burst onto the scene with their debut 2013’s the Mountain Moves to rave reviews. Taking their name from a Stephen Stills song they captivated the music press. Now in 2016 they are back with their new album and it’s a miracle it got made. For the London five-piece the last few years have been gruelling to say the least.
They have lived through the grief of divorce, lost parents, the near-death of a close friend and the departure of their long-time bassist Matthew Starritt as well as an accountancy bill they stated: “Would make the government weep” so all has not been well in their camp. After hiding themselves away in their London studio (Soup Studios) producing the album (with a little help from their friends) they found strength through adversity. The result is Palomino.
The album kicks off with You, Darling You with its infectious harmonies, and Neil Young inspired vocals. (Bet you never find me in the mirror. Bet you never find me now I’m gone) this is a summery song (despite its sad subject about it being about the end of a relationship) reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young meets the Magic Numbers and sounds like it has “summer hit” written all over it.
Sleepless Nights is another country rock affair with that 1960s West Coast meets jangly Byrds guitar sound. (Mary come dance with me, I am not tired. Please take these reigns from me, and let’s go wild). Fans of CSNY will love this. The song fades gently towards the end and brings in a lovely acoustic guitar solo with quirky sound effects. Lady Luck is full of yearning and makes better use of Morrison’s vocal and the flute/piano throughout the song is haunting and soulful. This is lie back and close your eyes music. Dance Through the Night recalls Steely Dan in places with its wah-wah guitars and I love the keyboard solo in the middle which goes into Santana’s Oyo Como Va territory.
St. Andrew’s Cross is an ode to Reid’s father passing (Just to have five minutes to say what I never said). The lyrics evoke the finality of death and its incumbent regrets. This must have been equally hard but maybe therapeutic for Reid to sing as the loss was so recent. This track is raw and honest and real. 31 Years was written about a friend of theirs who passed away whilst recording their debut album and is a very tight, focused, driven song that is catchy and changes tempo cleverly mid way through the song whilst Wild Winds is another charming alt-rock affair with its use of jangly guitars and tambourine.
Considering all the difficulties the band have been through in recent years this album can only be seen as cathartic to those times, driving them through their pain to greater creativity which is evident. It is lilting and like a warming 60s-infused melting pot with poetic lyrics and stand-out tracks such as You, Darling You, Lady Luck and 31 Years. The Treetops are set to fly.
They are touring this Spring.