Church Mice – Flying (2021)

Church Mice are heading back to their roots, while simultaneously taking chances with some newer sounds and structures. Their EP Flying is packed with this new style of sound, bringing echoing guitars to contemplative lyrics with some crisp horns thrown in for good measure. Drawing you into their new soundscapes, the band showcases what each member has to offer, while honing their combined sound for something quite extraordinary.

Christian Carver Thompson (vocals) and Bill Solomonson (guitar) go way back and have been in multiple bands and musical projects together over the years. While they have been friends and in the same musical orbit, it was only in 2017 when Thompson was inspired to start writing and collaborating with Solomonson again. As they return to their roots, they leave some of the college band tones of their first project together Keeper Wild in the past, and move to a more mature sound.

The EP opens with ‘I Found You’ and really grabs your attention with the deep beats. The drums roll around your beat and gently push you into the tender tones of the melody. The light notes of the music lull you into swaying and the blossoming good vibes of the song. Thompson’s vocals are warm and settle around you like the sun on a summer’s day. You can hear the affection of the track in his performance as he brings a smile to your face. The horns add depth to the music as they enter later in the track.

‘The Pill’ has a more rock tone to the opening with the guitar beckoning you into the melody. The drums bring another hit of rock before the vocals soothe the sound and settle it. There is a building feeling to the melody and vocals that lead you to the chorus that burst with bright light. The lyrics are packed with poetic metaphors that help drive the message of the single home before you rock out to the guitar solo. It is a really amazing solo that hooks into your chest and has you soaring on its movement. Through the lyrics of the tack, the band looks at the world and how modern media presents it to us. There is a really catchy chorus that you are going to have stuck in your head.

The rock tones of the last track drop for an acoustic opening in ‘Chasing the Wind’. There is a foggy morning feeling to the opening melody as the vocals reach out like searching tendrils of smoke. The reaching feeling of the vocals is enhanced by the electric guitar tone, while the acoustic guitar continues the soft and delicate opening lines. It is a wonderful layering of sound and emotions that fills your chest like a brimming well. As the track continues, new lines are introduced, adding to the richness of the music before the vocals punch through the sound. The build-up of melodic layers at the end of the track has the entire song rising up.

The title track ‘Flying’ opens with a cascade of tones that shimmer and shiver through the air. The melody has the feeling of dawn breaking over the horizon, but this is tinged with melancholy through the vocals. There is a desire for escapism in the vocals as they want to leave everything behind and just soar like a flying bird. The echo to the vocals enhances the melancholic emotions, while tinging them with a strange sense of freedom. Combined with the guitar riffs, this feeling sweeps through your chest and seems to lighten the load resting on it. While the song is longing for something else, it fills you with the hope of a brighter tomorrow and the knowledge that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

‘Sunshine’ is packed with tender and delicate tones with the stripped back opening. The vocals continue the melancholy of the last track, but it has been turned up to eleven. There is a heart-wrenching sadness and pain that comes after a breakup when you still love the person who has left you. The horns add to the melancholic tones as they reach into your chest and tug. The lyrics are an interesting mixture of pain, heartbreak, acceptance and questioning about why the person left. This is contrasted by the chorus that wishes the other person well, while reminding them of the sadness they feel being all alone. Through all this, the song is really engaging and has you swaying to the melancholic feeling. The horns on this track are really amazing.

The EP comes to an end with ‘Rain Parade’ which is a bit different to the rest of the EP in the opening, with bubbling tones that swirl around you. The tones that seem to circle you are the perfect sonic accompaniment to the opening lyrics. Those tones drop for a solid melody that tumbles through your chest and soars on the backs of the electric guitars. The lyrics bring a light sense of empowerment and strength as they look toward a brighter future for everyone. It is a wonderfully uplifting song that ends the EP on a delightful high note.

Church Mice keep you hooked to their EP Flying with tracks that bring their rock roots to soaring guitars, melancholic horns and warm vocals. Each track hits a different message, while filling you with the emotions of the lyrics. This is one of those EP’s that you want to listen to again and again, knowing that you are going to enjoy every moment each time.

Find out more about Church Mice on their Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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