Night Flight

Night Flight

CRC Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


It is not that hard for the soft rock genre to get ridiculed. Its easygoingness can so effortlessly slip into mundaneness or, worse still, cheesiness. It is from the heart of this music style that London-based Night Flight emerges with their indie folk version, which espouses the genre’s mild and readily palatable feel in every song of their self-titled debut release.

Night Flight is quiet and unassuming, and its tracks are performed delicately. The music is swooning, and has a “generic” flavor, the kind that guitar-based tunes found on popular radio are made of.  But this disc has character that is far from generic or mundane. However, because of its subtlety – which is a direct result of its gentle music – its uniqueness is easy to miss, at least in the beginning.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The record’s subtlety might work against it, but this trait is also its strength. Within the tight confines of the subtleties, the band’s music has interesting nuances that are backed by strong songwriting and performance, making it a distinctly gratifying album.

There is a warm and lovable guitar sound found on “Forever And” and “Machiavellianites,” which have the old school Parachutes-era Coldplay feel. Then there are the classic rock inspired “God Knows,” “Roulette,” and “Amsterdam,” which have a laidback atmosphere that beg you to plop on your couch with a bottle of beer.

Night Flight is at its most captivating during its dark moments. The opening track gives a good glimpse of this facet: “Departure” starts off with an introspective feel before it gets freed from its shadowy self and turns into a bare-chested cathartic number. “Storm,” on the other hand, is claustrophobic and haunting through and through, with a sense of eeriness in the cut’s hushed music playing. “Medicine” sounds like an Elbow song with its folk instrumentation and elegant composition, which are beautiful but somber.

“Death Rattle” has Jeff Buckley written all over it, where frontman Samuel Holmes sounds a bit like Buckley. But the track itself – mysterious, comforting, touching, and doleful – has Buckley’s distinct musical flavor. “Parade” is a great mix between the album’s pleasant guitar sound and its melancholy, written and performed to perfection. No wonder this is one of the best cuts here.

Despite being a combination of the group’s first two EPs – Wanderlust and Carousel – with the addition of two new numbers, Night Flight is very cohesive. The cuts blend in great with each other; it is as if the band made sure they knew what they were doing before putting their music out there. But this is not the kind of record that would blow your socks off. However, over time, you will be surprised as to how rewarding it is.

Rating: B+

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