Treetop Flyers - To Bury The Past
Richard Wink 22/10/2009
You can wear your flannel jackets, you can grow a shaggy beard, but unfortunately you will never be able to travel back in time forty something years.
Folk is everywhere at the moment, over here we have the likes of Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons and Noah and the Whale. Across the pond you have Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Jeffrey Lewis, Fleet Foxes, and those are just a few of the 'names' that have tasted some success. There are hundreds, nay thousands of folk musicians plucking away trying to wear their heart on the sleeve enough to get noticed.
Treetop Flyers are yet another folk group. Though there is a little bit of a back story to them, they contain a few Young Americans that have re-located to London from New York in search of the big break. Then conveniently the group hit Hoxton in the hope somebody in the biz takes them under their wing and shouts from the roof top about this hot new band.
The good news is that the EP is quite alright, sounding like a less harmonious Fleet Foxes, or perhaps a less talented version of The Band. The one problem Treetop Flyers have is that they are a poor man's version of both of those acts. Revivalist in the worst sense; there seems to be an innate realness missing from the band, in that each track is pretty enough, but we receive a vase of plastic flowers instead of the bouquet of freshly cut roses.
'Mountain Song' gathers momentum as lap steel guitar slices through the slick Southern harmonies, drawing on drawl and stony faced passion. Sometimes when this sort of retro-folk meanders I'm taken back to Sunday Afternoons when I was a kid, around eleven or twelve years of age, I would sometimes eat dinner after coming back from a Football game and watch a double bill of The Waltons and Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, often I would wonder why people would enjoy this saccharine, idyllic, and somewhat false take on rural American life.
Ok, I will concede 'Rose in the Yard' and 'Is it all worth it?' are finely written songs, only they don't feel real. Just as Jane Seymour never seemed right in her role as Dr Quinn, a couple of people from Brooklyn singing Country tinged ballads doesn't quite work. To Bury The Past is homage, a tribute, an act, and not a genuinely moving collection of songs.
Oh, and one more thing I almost forgot to mention, the lead vocalist sounds very much like Paolo Nutini.