Thursday, February 14, 2013
First Listen :: The Flight
Words: David Beech
'Hangman' is the titular track and leading single from the début EP from East London's The Flight. Comprised of a duo of producers Joe Henson and Alexis Smith, this EP, also titled 'Hangman' is a concept record that retells the story of 'Pretty Polly' a traditional folk song which tells the tale of a girl who is seduced and murdered before being buried in a shallow grave in the woods.
Macabre the subject matter may be, the record even turns things on its head after 'Hangman' and tells the rest of the story from the point of view of the murderer. But subject matter aside 'Hangman' is a fantastic first single from The Flight and shouldn't be overlooked despite it's unusual narrative.
It makes sense that they release 'Hangman' as the leading single as it introduces and frames the rest of the EP. Vocally the song is reminiscent of bands such as Brand New or A Republic of Wolves but that's as far as the comparisons can stretch. Musically this is something really different; a slow-building lament with diverse instrumentation that takes the listener on a auditory journey through the initial act of 'Pretty Polly' and leaves you at the other side feeling like you've just experienced something that borders on the musically profound.
The video that was released along side the song is a work of art in itself. It's a collage of foreshadowing symbolism and morbid connotations. There are references to Edgar Allen Poe strewn throughout with particular emphasis on the raven, which adds to the ominous aesthetic upheld, by video and song alike.
This really is something completely out of the ordinary and something worth spending some time to listen to. What The Flight has done is bring an age-old folk song kicking and screaming in to the contemporary. The video could have been directed by Tim Burton, as it holds much of the same macabre appeal as his work. It is brilliantly put together, utilising what seems to be a multitude of mediums to convey a story which is really quite moving.
For a first attempt at making their own music The Flight have certainly ticked every box in making this a fantastically memorable if not morbid first single. The excellent chorus which includes the lines “And I can still feel her sweet kiss/ I am bound to swing for this” is sure to play out in your head over and over again. A sure fire sign that The Flight have truly succeeded in making a song which at once both haunts and encapsulates, drawing you in to a world that drips with Dickensian austerity and glistens with a charm that really shouldn't be felt given the overt sincerity of the lyrics.
Watch the video here: