‘W’ is for The White Bicycles

13 Feb

The White Bicycles

Googling Falmouth University may not be top on most music bloggers list of evening activities, but here are Alphabet Bands, we dare to be different. It turns out, from a very limited perusal of Wikipedia, that the notable alumni of Falmouth includes a lot of actors and artists we have never heard of (and a couple we have), someone who professes to be a ‘cyborg activist and artist’, and one musician, Ben Howard. Ben Howard, who, as you know, signed to Island Records, a label famous for many things including being the home of esteemed folk singer, Nick Drake. Why oh why, we hear you ask, is any of this important? Well, forgive us for coming across like a low rent Kevin Bacon, but it is all due to the serendipitous connections of the world.

Today we welcome The White Bicycles to our family of wonderful Alphabet Bands, a band which was born into this world at Falmouth University when songwriter Matthew Howes met guitarist Ryan Nolan. Not only that, but the name comes from the memoirs of producer Joe Boyd, who famously brought songwriter Nick Drake to light. It’s all connected see?

They pitch themselves as being ”a welcome antidote for the haste of modern living” and they are not far wrong. Listening to their latest single, “Courtesy”, in particular makes you feel calm and in control. It moves along at a gentle pace; like you are on an amble through the countryside for a few moments of relaxed tranquillity, looking out from atop a hill as the world whizzes by below you. They use space as an instrument, allowing notes, melodies, lyrics to breathe and linger.

Surprisingly they have labelled their music on SoundCloud as ‘shoegaze’; it is not. It is quite the opposite in fact. It is lift-your-head-up-from-the-rat-race-and-look-around music, take-a-moment-to-appreciate-the-world music. It’s folk, but it isn’t. It’s pop, but it isn’t. It is lo-fi indie, but it isn’t. Its soundscapes are contemplative; they are considered, thoughtful and melancholic. “Wristwatch” is intimate, like walking through the snowfall in moonlight as the rest of the world sleeps while “Empty Frames” is a secret, a whisper The White Bicycles share only with the listener.

It may feel that this contradictory non-style of theirs is an affectation, it isn’t. There is not a bit of pretention in the music of The White Bicycles; it is just simple, poetic and beautiful. We recommend that you find somewhere quiet, shut yourself away from the world for a few minutes, turn down the lights if you can and just listen. Let life carry on outside as you relax with this enthralling new band.

All three of The White Bicycles tracks can be downloaded for free from their SoundCloud profile, and gig details can be found on their Facebook page.

Stalk The White Bicycles: Facebook / SoundCloud / Twitter / YouTube / email

One Response to “‘W’ is for The White Bicycles”

  1. name not supplied April 6, 2013 at 00:59 #

    a slow burner, lovely and strummy but very nicely written up mostly!

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