Review: White Roses by Flyte

Flyte have not disappointed with their eagerly awaited new EP, White Roses. The London-based band have been determined to deliver quality in their new music meaning there has been a two-year gap between the debut album, The Loved Ones, and White Roses, with only the single Moon Unit in-between. It has been worth the wait – the result is a record that feels beautifully crafted and just as soul-touching as their previous releases.

Known for their layers of harmonies and nod to the ‘60s style of pop, White Roses showcases Flyte’s distinctive sound. Rightly compared to The Beatles, there is excellent craft to their work, with their individuality shining through in the ethereal effect of their arrangements. The backing vocals from Sam Berridge, Jon Supran and Nicholas Hill are just as crucial as the main vocals from Will Taylor in bringing a chilling and beautiful sound to their work. This makes for an incredibly captivating live performance experience which demands stunned silence from an audience entranced by their sound. Anyone with a ticket to their upcoming sold-out November show at the Village Underground is in for a treat.

This EP feels more pared back than their debut album, bringing more focus to their lyrics. Flyte tackle tough themes in their work, with The Loved Ones covering domestic abuse and alcoholism; this time they hold a focus over grief and loyalty in relationships.


The opening track, ‘White Roses’, is a collaboration with the band The Staves. Another band known for their heavenly harmonies, they add another level of delicate beauty to Flyte’s sound. An ethereal feel fitting for a song about loss. Lyrically as well as melodically, the song emits a gentle and reflective grief rather than an angry, bitter grief. It’s difficult to dig in to lyrics that are obviously individual to their writer, but there is a definite sense that seeing the white roses “growing round the houses” sparks a longing for the person they have lost.


The second track kicks in with a more upbeat sound, but with lyrics that still hit an important subject: honesty and loyalty in a relationship. The focus on belief perhaps hints at feelings of doubt within a relationship, yet there remains a sense of love and a desire not to hurt the other person involved any more than they already have.

The accompanying music video for this track is just as touching. Shot by Kasper Häggström, it shows a father sending his daughter off to university and telling her not to worry about returning home, and to find her own way in the world. Probably unintentionally good timing for the start of term, this video sure did resonate.


Album Artwork: Lucas Donaud


Another track that focuses on honesty within relationships, ‘Sometimes’ has a clear message: “sometimes I forget how to love you”. Pairing well with ISBIY, it almost feels like an apology for not giving someone the amount of love that they deserve. How a busy life away from the person you love can place a strain on your relationship. This track is definitely my favourite to walk down the street and tap along to (though ISBIY is perfect for that, too), with lovely riffs that fit together beautifully.


Ending on a more mellow sound, ‘Gone Girl’ is the EP’s stand-out track. Perhaps because it feels like it could be in a film or because I’m a sucker for a mellow ‘60s track. The echoing backing vocals and electric guitar melodies give it a distinct ‘60s tone and add to the mysterious feel created by the lyrics of an “illusion” of a girl. Allusion to chapter and verse reminds us of Flyte’s interest in referencing literature, which is also seen in ‘White Roses’ where the lyrics nod to WH Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’.

Flyte have produced another beautiful record – the only thing I am left wanting is a song with the same energy as ‘Cathy Come Home’ from The Loved Ones, but perhaps they weren’t going for that sound on this EP. The four tracks fit together really well: a record about loss and how it triggers a reflection on relationships.

Imogen Phillips


Featured Image Credit: Cal McIntyre


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