Treetop Flyers are from London and won the Glastonbury Festival emerging talent competition in 2011. They don’t rush: their debut album The Mountain Moves came out in 2013 and now this, in 2018.
The music is dreamy 60s mellow country rock with some psychedelia thrown in, though opener* Flea Drops, an instrumental, has slide or lap steel (?) that sounds a bit early Black Keys, specifically the spine-tinglingly great track The Lengths. Treetop Flyers have spent their time getting every second of this album perfect, and Flea Drops is no exception, containing the same feeling of yearning as The Lengths.
Sweet Greens and Blues is the first vocal song, and it’s gentle, though it rolls along at a lick. Treetop Flyers get their name from a Stephen Stills song, and the sound is firmly in the Byrds / Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young vein, though often it’s got a groove that was lacking the sixties, and a perfection that most music obviously does not have. Sax comes in at the end to beef up the sound.
A couple of songs really stand out. Needle is the second longest track and is lovely, slow and gentle, with dreamy guitar; a song to lose yourself in. Given the title, maybe it tries to create the feeling of a drug-induced trance. It’s so good it reminds us of Van Morrison at his mid-dreamiest, and, more recently, The Barr Brothers.
The standout song is Art Of Deception, eight minutes long and the centrepiece of the album. Even at that length it’s too short. It opens at a lick, the guitar and the vocals from the sixties folk circuit but then in comes a saxophone that sounds more Wham! than Bread. The vocals end three or so minutes in and there’s a long guitar solo before it breaks down and the groove comes to the fore followed by more guitar, before it stops for brief vocals at five minutes before even more guitar. Then it wanders off into Gong territory, with a proper psychedelic sound without losing the groove. All rather marvellous and a rather wonderful album.
* The track listing on the Press release and the CD differ but we Shazamed them.