Filed under: Editor Picks, Emerging Artists, Releases of the Week, Scene Around Town | Tags: R&B, The Fly
PREVIEW: VISIT The Fly’s Bandcamp and download “Come Take Flyt”
So let’s get this out of the way from the start. I really dig these guys. I’ve seen them live multiple times and I think they’re both really energetic and more creative than a lot of mainstream groups out there. That said, when Keith Smith mentioned to me that The Fly would be putting out their first EP on May 30, I thought that it would be five songs and no longer than 20 minutes. Shame on me.
Come Take Flyt clocks in at 12 tracks and 40 minutes. It’s produced by Keith Smith and showcases their best live tracks in a professional, definitive form. Above all, it could be an album in its own right, which is unbelievably refreshing. It might actually be too produced. The raw energy of their live tracks translates nicely through female vocalist Farasha Baylock’s crystal-clear vocals, but I found myself missing the rawness of Keith Smith’s vocals. On tracks like “Stars Might Fall” and “Love Fiend” his vocals are layered on top of each other and soft as opposed to passionate. This isn’t to say these songs are in any way worse off for it, though — they’re just different. Differences in performance vs. the record don’t by any means get in the way of enjoying the album, which, along with the Mouth’s Cradle full-length, comprises some of the best student songwriting and production we’ve heard this year.
It’s also unfair not to note The Fly’s less-visible members. Throughout the record, Samuel Taylor, guitarist for World Record Players charges through songs, filling out much of the music The Fly already owned without a guitarist. I’ve seen drummer Nate Hopper and bassist Harry Barron perform live with Baylock and Smith before and can testify to both their showmanship and their mastery over their instruments. When it shows up, Pete DePasquale’s saxophone only helps the record, as does the extra drumming by Brian Ludwig. The record is very much a combination of the different voices from the Syracuse University music scene.
That said, despite the fact that I was surprised at its length and its sheer quality, I found myself wanting more. It’s not really a surprise, and it’s probably a cliché, but The Fly just sound better live. This is by no means a bad thing. Good for them, in fact.
— Eric Vilas-Boas