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Album Review: Keep Flying “Revival”

East coast punk-meets-ska hybrid Keep Flying reinvent their sound on their latest EP, Revival. The six-track EP is a follow up to 2020’s LP Survival and reimagines previously released tracks across their discography, while welcoming in the new. This fresh take finds the band exploring more vastly and playing with the barriers of genre, flowing seamlessly from indie rock, to punk, to folk, and even rap in a way that still feels organic to Keep Flying as a unit.

The new compositions on this release stand as solid tracks in themselves, as opposed to a “part two” or unnecessary expansion. While the band consider this EP the “final companion piece” to Survival,  both works are able to be consumed in their own individual rights. While it plays as a bit of a genre-buffet, sonically this body of songs serve as a creative outlet for the band to expand their palette and “take multiple leaps into new frontiers as a way to revive and expel [our] music even more than before.” 

Their most recent single and the opening track, “Firesale (Revisited)”, is a strong departure from their notorious high-tempo tracks, and brings them down into an emotive, sympathetic slow-burner. Composed of a softened horn section, intricate guitar picking, and beautiful melody, lead singer Henry Menzel earnestly sings of the woes of life, time, mental health, and conquering fears. “Candy Cane Forest 2” follows up in an eruption of banjo, percussion, and brass instrumentation, in a Mumford & Sons-charged, folk-ska mashup which initially takes a moment to recover from the initial shock of such a shift in tone. It is a drastic change from the original 2016 cut, allowing the band to experiment not only within a new sector of genre, but with the perimeters of alterations. 

Crafting their name from the ideology of positivity, many of their lyrics shine light on the power that comes from switching perspectives on a subject matter, which in a way, this EP accomplishes sonically. The mental narratives portrayed here are exemplified in tracks like “Clarity” — an emotive, mellow pop-ballad— and “They Never Lie Down (Revisited)”— a mid-tempo number that instigates hope amidst adversity. Lacking any inhibitions of catering to the conventional norm, Keep Flying are unapologetically themselves, airing a sense of both genuinity and nonchalance towards naysayers. Whichever style they approach, it is guaranteed that Keep Flying will soar to new sonic heights without straying from the core of who they are. Revival is out everywhere August 12th. You can pre-save the album here

Keep Flying Online: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music 

About Emma Furrier

Boston-based music writer and reviewer. Passionate about rock and roll, vinyl collecting, and any dog I’ve ever met.

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