Felt Tip – Simple Things

FELT TIP MAY PRESS PurpleIndie-rockers Felt Tip have been gracing my ears for a sizeable chunk of the last few days and I simply can’t get enough of their EP ‘Simple Things‘. Their sound is raw, unpolished and angsty enough to keep your head nodding and your heart pumping.

Opening with a solitary voice and guitar, the EP plays fast and loose with the tempo to wrong-foot any over-zealous listeners. The title track which opens the album is undoubtedly the stand out with a lovely bass tone supporting swift, distorted guitar chords along with some wonderfully thought through percussive choices. However, it is the voice of James Tyler which gives the band their niche as his often casual delivery shows a man comfortable in his own skin and proud of his voice. There are no airs and graces in sight as the band present a very honest picture and Tyler’s lyrics are never pretentious, they’re always capturing the array of emotions that each of us goes through at some point in our lives.

How Do I Feel‘ follows on from the opening track in much the similar style and, while the occasional dissonant guitar note seems slightly misjudged, creates a haunting aura with tension built by each and every guitar note and hi-hat hit. Once again it is the pulsing bass from Jade Spranklen that keeps the track together, acting as if it were the blood racing through the veins of each and every bar. There’s enough space to swing a lion created by the simplistic nature of the track but the choice to keep to the tried and tested format with very few extras is incredibly endearing and effortlessly adds to the raw appeal of the band. ‘No Idea‘ opens up once again with this sparse sound, leaving itself plenty of room to grow and develop. Tyler’s style is at times reminiscent of Morrissey as his voice starts to wail yet they are a world away from The Smiths with their grittier, 21st century sound.

It’s full of swagger and effortless brilliance and it feels as though the band have taken the very best of the 80s and mixed it with elements of indie goodness and closing track ‘I Don’t Ever‘ is just exquisite. It’s a rapid, charging beast that seamlessly drives you to an all too soon close, via a chorus that Morrissey, Marr and co would happily lay claim to. It’s encouraging to hear such a strong end to the EP as, where many bands seem to trail off, Felt Tip keep their engines on at full blast until the death.

A truly excellent EP, be sure to catch them if you can.

Ciaran Steward


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