Fly Upright Kite - Every Breathing Moment EP Release Date: 4/26/06 Record Label: Unsigned
For years now, as Copeland has diverged from the organic beauty of Beneath Medicine Tree, many have been anxiously waiting for a band to come along and recreate the natural appeal of that special record. As the years have peeled away, acts have stepped up to the plate and taken their swings for the fences in their attempts to be the heir to this now-vacant throne, but in truth, all have fallen either short or wide of the mark. Copeland themselves have adopted a more lush, grandiose sound, while imitators Daphne Loves Derby stagnate far too flat, while Rookie of the Year rolls a little too slick to be truly believable. With all of these bands flailing so fruitlessly to nab this empty foothold, how strange is it that a little known band by the name of Fly Upright Kite should waltz out of Boston to ease right into the gap no one else can fill?
When you get right down to it, to say that Fly Upright Kite has a Copeland fascination would be a drastic understatement. Musically, vocally, lyrically, and atmospherically, the band walks almost right in the footprints of its predecessor. Now, the way your own personal tastes stack up will dictate whether this is ultimately a positive or negative quality, but as a longtime Copeland fan, I could not be happier that another band has decided to move in to carry the torch.
While a passing glance and a closed mind might make it tempting to toss tracks like "Burn Out" into the poseur bin, a patient dissection of the tune reveals details that make Fly Upright Kite far more alluring point of focus. Once you get past the hollow guitar intro, vocalist Asad Rahman quickly serves up his clear, high-pitched delivery that carries a strong melody atop humble guitar and percussion components. A welcome little easter egg, though, is Holland Dieringer's violin, which slowly and patiently weaves its way throughout the musical backdrop. While a violin in similar bands would scream "gimmick!" (*cough* Yellowcard *cough*) nothing about Dieringer's string work is attention-starved or unnecessary. While the touches are alarmingly subtle, after a while, it becomes hard to imagine the tunes without these emotive accents.
Beyond the opening track, the Copeland karaoke subsides a bit, as "Say You Love Me" features six-string work that is both frantic and muted, while "Never Let Go" brings a surprisingly focused rock assault that somehow manages to plow forward behind Jarred Grant's driving drum pacing, all while never compromising an ounce of luster or ethereal splendor. The end result is one that makes "Walking Downtown" wilt in comparison to this sensitive anthem. For as uptempo as these tracks are, the band conversely takes its cuts at Beneath Medicine Tree's more pensive numbers. "Cracks" and "Untitled #7" stroll with a molasses clip, but are still undeniably striking in their honesty and overarching loveliness. Sure, these types of songs might frustrate the more restless listeners out there, but regardless, it is just as easy to hold up your lighter and shed a tear to these achingly intimate works.
Still, for as much as there is to like - hell, adore - about Fly Upright Kite, the band is not entirely without flaw. While the Copeland posturing might scratch many emo kids right where they itch, it would be inviting to see the band step out of their forebear's shadow. This applies both musically and lyrically. With Rahman's ultra-convincing delivery, there is no reason to question his conviction, but nevertheless, there is still a lot of repeated talk about hearts, love, heartache, heartbreak, sparks, and other emo staples that could use a bit of a shakeup. And finally, while the music on Every Breathing Moment is kept intentionally stark, it would elevate the band's sound to give backing vocals an increased prominence in future recordings. After all, us emo kids are suckers for a good hook.
When it all comes down, I really cannot endorse Fly Upright Kite enough. Coming from a forum recommendation here, the band has easily issued one of my top 5 EPs of 2006. Take note folks - I would be surprised if these guys did not take off soon.
good review, i agree with just about everything you said. for a debut ep it's definitely stellar and these guys are picking up a pretty big fanbase already and only stand to get bigger. they do need to expand their sound a bit though as it gets a little predictable.
don't get me wrong, the ep is still good the whole way through, but i don't think a full length would pass muster without some diversity.
i've been a huge fan of these guys for a while now. ever since i seen them play with another boston favorite of mine "lansdowne"(if you like fly upright kite then check these dudes out. the links in my signature) sometime ago and i've been hooked since then. the singers voice is breath taking and you can feel it when he sings. i think the music is beautiful as well and i'm failing to recognize the comparisions between them and copeland but maybe thats because i'm not much of a fan of copeland.