West London’s Treetop Flyers are old school. They are the kind of band that want records, not MP3s. They want music stores, not iTunes. They want analogue, not digital. “Looking at a list of songs on an mp3 player destroys the ability to connect and feel close to a piece of music or a record. It all becomes disposable.” Explains New York born drummer, Tomer Danan. “You need to feel a record in your hands, be able to smell the packaging and read the liner notes, see the artwork.”
Yes, Treetop Flyers are old school, alright. And thank goodness for that. For where would London’s finest Americana band be if they had snubbed the old fashioned ideals and techniques of the artists they grew up listening to – Dylan, Waits, Young etc. – and instead embraced the digital age? Well, thankfully that is a question that we will never have to worry about. Because they didn’t. What they did do however, is form this wonderful band and bring to our fair Isle a blend of Country, Folk, Soul and Rock that sounds as if it belongs in Mid-West America.
In fact they sound so American that it comes as quite a surprise to learn that Tomer is, indeed, the groups sole representative from across the pond. “We formed in West London where we’re still based. Most of us grew up in London, although Sam (Beer – Guitar and Vocals) and Matthew (Starritt – Bass and Vocals) both spent chunks of their childhoods living in various countries.” Reid Morrison – Vocals and Guitar, and Laurie Sherman – Guitar, are the less well travelled amongst the group. And you can hear hints of tales from foreign shores within the songs, too.
Alt. Country epic, ‘Mountain Song’, from their debut EP To Bury The Past is one such example ‘Oh she’s from behind the mountain / She’s wise beyond her age… Big iron hand came down on her’ It is the kind of song that recalls Ryan Adams & The Cardinals most inspired moments but is really just a small slice of what these guys are capable of. The other songs on the EP are equally brilliant for their own different reasons. ‘It’s About Time’ is all big country riffs and signature harmonies while ‘Old Days’ and ‘Is It All Worth It?’ display the bands softer, more understated side.
With so many strings already to their bow you wonder what they aim to achieve with this band. “We hope to enrich people’s lives in whatever way we can, by writing music we love to play and listen to ourselves. And if there’s any luck, for us to be able see the world and make a living doing it.” Happily that is already starting to happen. I was lucky enough to witness a storming set by the band at South By South West festival in Austin, Texas last March. A moment that is remembered fondly by the band. “Our proudest moment is probably holding our first record in our hands – though playing SXSW was a pretty cool thing to experience.”
So with a stunning EP already under their belt, a wonderful live show and an album in the making, it seems only fair to issue a warning; beware world – Treetop Flyers are coming for you.