by Connor Jackson
A few weeks ago, Halcyon released a new track, Tongue Tied, to their SoundCloud. Formerly based in Exeter, this dream pop band’s recent move to Brighton was, perhaps, the change of pace they needed to find a new direction and a new energy, because Tongue Tied reeks of optimism and new beginnings.
The introduction is vaguely Coldplay-esque, and it doesn’t shame me to say I quite like it – no one under the age of 40 is proud enough to admit they enjoy Coldplay, but I’ve yet to meet a person who is truly opposed when some of their better songs play. Twinkly, echoey guitars, a light bit of synth, a slow build. Whatever your stance on Chris Martin, the introduction exudes a youthful exuberance. Syncopated drums and a chorus of harmonious guitars break in to a fast-paced track, one which sounds almost exactly like a Bastille song, right down to the vocals. If you close your eyes, you’d really struggle to tell the difference. This isn’t typically the sort of music I’d listen to, but it definitely has that mass appeal; just indie enough to be cool, just safe enough to be played on the radio, but all in all quite an exciting prospect.
But it’s not just their new track that’s worth a listen. Track back through their SoundCloud and you find two other equally exciting songs, if not more so. Voices comes across as a Foo Fighters-cross-Cure hybrid which works on every level, with powerful, grungy power chords and a distant echo, with meaty drums and hi-hats riding high, it drags you in and has your foot stomping without you realising. Their earliest track, Oceans, for a reason which I can’t quite figure out, reminds me very vaguely of Joy Division, even though it couldn’t be any less like Joy Division if it tried. Maybe it’s the vocals – the distant reverence and sad tone. I’m not quite sure, but it’s a slow burn song which quietens the mood with a twinkling dreaminess characteristic of Halcyon.
Like I said, maybe Halcyon aren’t a band I’d typically enjoy, but these tracks are worth the few minutes they take to listen to. Don’t take my word for it either – music is subjective, so check them out yourself. There’s something there, something perhaps unrefined, something they’ve yet to get hold of which defines them. But there’s certainly something. Keep your ear to the ground, they’re destined for something bigger.