Music is said to be a form of expression of the core passion within and hands down Adrian Roye and The Exiles does the statement justice. The talented quartet flawlessly create ‘ear-candy’, which melts your senses into the sweet acoustic melodies that are thrown into a sea of raw lyrical storytelling and impeccably clean percussions. The album Reclaimed, released on the 1st of July, leaves me feeling beyond elated.
Having dodged the mainstream trap and played hide and seek with the many ears of folk, indie and jazz lovers, they got their break in 2011 where they were given the opportunity to record their album. Originally from North London, they basically “exile(-d)” themselves to Vermont, USA and let’s just say, the universe worked to their liking.
Honest songs occupy the whole album, starting on a high and keeping the standard throughout. There’s variety between songs, metaphorical references and poignant yet bitter lyrics of which one may not be able to put a finger on what it’s really about, and this is a strong skill that allows listeners to openly interpret their songs. In the song Pebbles and Stones, there’s a powerful message of disagreement and of the saying ‘tit for tat’, which has essences of political disputes but which can also be interpreted as disputes between lovers. “You said a word and so, I threw a pebble and you threw a stone and so on.” This is a line from the masterpiece that so slightly supports my point. Also included in the album are songs such as Plastic Bag Goldfish, The Calling and Fear of Phantoms which has earned a special place in my consciousness called “replay until I can’t bear the play button.” (It’s a good place, promise!)
The afro-folk band is plucked from the rest due to Adrian Roye’s inability to suppress his emotions – thus, cascading into tear jerking falsetto with an enchanting likeness to Tracy Chapman, followed by Simon Lewis’ cello playing ability that coincides to give every lyric a genuine touch, along with Beth Dariti’s on point skills on the bass guitar, that sets on fire every word being sung but then soothes the burns with her harmonising vocals. Lastly is Dan Paton who’s responsible for the pitch perfect rhythms of the drums. These four musicians stand out as individuals rather than a band because it’s the collision of each one’s talents and expertise that creates the firework of epicness. (That, my friend is me using coinage, and yes, it’s because their music has rendered me speechless.)
So, what are you waiting for? Go check them out now if you haven’t already done so! … And thank me later.