Treetop Flyers – The Mountain Moves
Treetop Flyers are named after a Stephen Stills song. Maybe that’s all you need to know. They describe themselves as channelling the spirit of “pure country soul”. They have great harmonies, fine melodies and some sweet guitar solos. Stephen would be proud, if he wasn’t so much of a curmudgeon. But are Treetop Flyers more than just a tribute act who happen to write their own songs? Well, yes. Reid Morrison’s vocals are one reason why. They really do have a pure country soul sound to them. But what’s nice is that he doesn’t engage in Joe Cocker-style emoting. He keeps the quavering nicely in check, making the voice just another part of the song. The vocals aren’t allowed to dominate but they easily could. If they ever sign to a major label, they’ll become the centrepiece of the sound. But it’ll be a change for the worse, even if they end up shifting more units. The song craft is the other reason why Treetop Flyers are worth a detour. The songs sound like they’ve been worked on but they’re not overworked. There are nice hooks, good changes of pace, and plenty of guitar noodling. But there’s never a sense of anything being superfluous or showy-offy. The influences may be clear, but there’s no plagiarism. At the moment, what let’s them down are the lyrics. They’re are a mix of cliché and banality. They sound like they’re written by a mix of the worst Laurel Canyon stoner casualty and the purest boy scout. Treetop Flyers have identified a sound they like. They don’t just copy that sound. They build on it and produce some really nice songs. Oh, and by the way, they’re from West London.