The Fylls (pronounced like, “The Fills”) are a New York City based indie folk band who has just recently self released their mostly acoustic debut EP Living Rooms Little Album. The seven track EP was mastered by producer Andrew Futral of fellow NYC indie rock band Field Mouse and was recorded in the living rooms of some of their friends and fans as the four piece band huddled around one or two microphones to capture the immediate intimacy of the moment as well as the band’s captivating live energy. Living Rooms Little Album was released in appreciation of a successful Kickstarter campaign that they will use to record and release their anticipated debut studio album this fall or winter. The band is led by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Jordan Roads and vocalist and bassist Erica Robinson, and is rounded out by contributions from Micky Robinson on guitar and vocals and drummer Sam Paul Sherman.
“Rabbit Hunting” opens the EP with a slow pace of steadily strummed acoustic guitar and features Jordan and Erica’s seamless male/female vocal harmonies. The song is the perfect introduction to their rock-infused indie folk sound that has been compared to The Swell Season meets the Pixies. “Wooden Floors” stands out with cyclical fingerstyle guitars that cascade with a pretty sparkle along with a shuffling wire brush rhythm and even more warm close knit harmonies. Another standout moment comes from the tangled interplay between the acoustic and electric guitars on “Thread”, which is bolstered by Erica’s bluesy lead vocals. And even with the slightly stripped down approach, the song still reveals their complex and captivating arrangements. The aptly-titled “Darkroom” features darker melodies as it alternates between the slower, starker verses and the surging 60’s psych-pop inspired chorus with slightly distorted guitar; hinting at what is to come from their full length album. “Ashtray” conjures up the dusty Laurel Canyon folk of the 60’s and 70’s and features melodic guitar runs that twist and turn around the vocal melody.
Mainly because it was a package meant to hold over their fans until their proper debut, the Living Rooms Little Album EP also contains a couple of nice surprises in the form of bonus tracks, one of which is the studio version of their new single, “Mitochondria” which is due for an official release on NYC indie label Radian Records later this year. Also included in the package is a DVD containing the stunning video of “Mitochondria”. The other bonus track is the living room-recorded, “Last Battle” and is an upbeat track sung with dual lead vocals and features insistent acoustic strumming along with winding electric guitars for a politically charged anthem for and inspired by the “Working Man”. Yet another added bonus is a recording of an interesting and insightful interview and live performance from when the band was featured on the Taking Care Of Business radio show on New York’s WCWP that closes out the EP.
From the lovingly handmade packaging which includes a little songbook of lyrics made from balsam wood to the way they recorded the album in their fan’s living rooms and raised $4000 from their Kickstarter campaign, The Fylls have an enviable DIY movement that has their fans excited and the solid Living Rooms Little Album EP only increases the buzz and heightens their anticipation for a proper studio album.
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)
Review by: Justin Kreitzer