Fleadrops starts dramatic and ominous then drifts into a gentle, dreamy instrumental line. It’s a bold move to make a statement without words on the opening track.
Sweet Greens & Blues makes up for the earlier lack of lyrics by barrelling straight in with Reid Morrison’s distinctive voice. Here it’s reminiscent of labelmate Patrick Ferris of The Americans, though more nuanced and tender. The instrumentation is varied too as the band mixes up the tempo to match the lyrics. Saxophone, played expertly by Danny and The Champions of The World’s ‘Free Jazz’ Geoff Thomas Widdowson, accents the chorus which sets up the strong line “it’s a strange old feeling when you look into an old lover’s eyes.
The power of memory then takes over completely with the refrain “ain’t it funny how a kiss can turn you blue and a smile can run you right through.” The retro vibe and gentle reminiscence makes Sweet Greens & Blues a clear highlight of the album and unquestionably a storming single and instant live favourite.
As if the previous song hadn’t signalled a way with words, It’s Hard To Understand seals the deal with the delicious descriptor “stuck like a robot with no electricity.” The vocal line is restrained while the instrumentation bursts at the seams.
Kooky Clothes sees guitarist Sam Beer take lead vocals. Lyrically, it ties together previous threads with a return to an ominous intro and reminiscence, though less nostalgic than before. The ear worm of the album jumps out: “you don’t know me anymore/leave me alone.”
Needle is languorous with a worn-in, contemplative 3 a.m. feel. It was inspired by an accidental drum loop at the end of a record; fittingly, a faint crackle stalks the edges.
Similarly matching the lyrics, Astral Plane is gently spacey, interestingly delivered with a touch of Spanish style guitar. Both Warning Bell and Art of Deception revel in retro influences and exude warmth. There’s sessionability in these tracks.
I Knew I’d Find You drops the pace with a sweet duet by Morrison by Beer, interwoven with lovely guitar work. Door 14 brings us full circle with a retro lullaby of an instrumental piece to put the album to bed.
With liberal use of a Mellotron and the welcome addition of Winddowson and drummer Rupert Shreeve to the line-up, Treetop Flyers have bounded back on to the scene with an assured, accomplished third album. Old influences and new beginnings have resulted in a unified album of West Coast rock with a West London edge, cut with country influences, a celebratory groove, and irrepressible heart and soul.
Treetop Flyers by Treetop Flyers is out now on Loose.
If you’d like to buy the album and help fund redrospective.com at the same time, click on the album cover below. Standard Amazon price for you and they’ll give me literally pennies towards my new camera 🙂
The band’s live performance is legendary so don’t miss them tearing up the stage at Long Road festival along with label mates Danny and the Champions of the World, Frontier Ruckus, Joana Serrat and William The Conqueror.