Album Review: Mayflys – Don’t Mind If I Don’t

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London four-piece Mayflys are still something of a well-kept secret, but they continue to plow an admirable if homespun furrow, harvesting some agreeable sounds as a result. This seven-track recording, drolly titled Don’t Mind If I Don’t, follows their debut self-release, and picks up neatly where that left off. More of a continuing journey than a rehash, the new record shows Mayflys experimenting with a wider range of sounds. The outcome is more electric, with guitar effects and keyboards filling things out the mix, while glockenspiel and backing vocals add color.

Originally a trio, the line-up has been expanded to include percussion, which makes a big impact on the sound and means less need for the other instruments to compensate for the earlier absence of a drummer. On this turn, the bass is as lyrical as it is solid, while the guitar takes an impressive run through a gamut of styles. Yet broadly, the band has adopted a more simplistic approach with the new songs, taking fewer ideas and allowing time to develop them. There is still an experimental feel to Mayflys’ output, though, combined with trademark twists in the chord changes and dynamics.

“Be Someone Else” is an upbeat opener driven by bright percussive lines and delineated by singer Aurelie Konter’s sweetly seductive tones. The song, inspired by a trip to New York and conceived in Central Park, offers an enticing taste of life in more famous shoes. It’s a piece that offers both instrumental light and shade sitting comfortably alongside a hooky chorus that quickly imprints itself. By contrast, the title track is built around a funk guitar theme, and develops as a jazzy jam brought back to ground by a strong, insistent chorus.

There’s something about Mayflys that belongs to a summer’s day, and the poppy “Ay Yo” brings that vibe out in full bloom. The dance beats of “My Doll” and “Dirty Song”, plus the strong vocal overdubs on “No Rush”, show that there is plenty of variety in Mayflys closet. The bonus track streamed on the band’s Web site offers an interesting mash up of two Daft Punk tunes, “Digital Love” and “Technologic”, with Konter’s own unmistakably human tones replacing those of the android chipmunks on the originals. It’s an affectionate take on how a live band might ape a DJ mixing tunes together, and it is deftly delivered right up to its rap and guitar-intense outro.

The whole record is hallmarked by a lightness of touch, even on the rock and dance moments, and a summery jazz vibe is never that far away. Overall, it represents a progression that augurs well for the future, leaving the listener wanting more. So let’s have 10 tracks on the next one, please.

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