LOYALS may fill the hole in your musical heart that longs for good pop music. No, we’re not talking about computer generated beats with autotune. We’re talking about real musicians that play memorable songs that are beyond catchy.
The first couple of songs offer a few glimpses of what LOYALS has to offer. They’re fairly catchy, however the highlights of the album begins with the single “Skyline.” The song is a lighthearted account of a first date gone wrong. Lyrically, it’s a story that many can relate with and it’s that kind of nostalgia that will keep this song in the heads of many. Musically, the song is built for the radio and deserves widespread recognition.
As “Hold On” begins, it becomes apparent that the band can showcase many different sounding songs. Rather than driving the song with a clean guitar, a synth takes the place with the guitar taking to the background. There’s no set formula that they rely on for each track. It’s this diversity that is the most impressive about the band. Pop is designed for hit singles and the rest are pretty much b-sides. But with the skill and musicianship on this record, it’s hard not to say this is an album filled with singles waiting to be released onto the masses.
The following song continues the hot trend of singles, making the middle section of the album the best part of the LP. Vocalist Dane Allen has one of the most signature vocal lines on the record in the chorus, singing “All I have is gone, can you hear me, can you hear me? You can take my beating heart, it’s the only thing I feel, for these fragile bones can’t go on.”
“IDC” screams of the highly missed group The 1975. While you can say that LOYALS takes inspiration from The 1975, don’t assume they’re a copy band. LOYALS has their own sound that changes in small ways from song to song. The five minute long track sends you into a trance of heartache and old loves. All in all, it’s a sad song, but a song that can invoke those kinds of strong emotions is a feat for any band to accomplish. And if you’re a sucker for sad songs, you’ll be adding this to your playlists.
Nearly closing the album is their first single, “Alright.” This song mixes all of the best elements of each track before it. The balance between guitar, synth, and an incredible bass line makes it easily the best song on the album. The vocal range that Allen has over this self titled album is impressive to say the least. He seems just as comfortable singing in falsetto as he is in a regular range.
LOYALS has brought us an album we didn’t think we needed because we didn’t think pop could be done this well; and for the sake of being as accurate as possible, they fit into indie-pop or synth-pop better than just the broad term of “pop.”
The music on this debut album is approachable so fans of any genre can find themselves enjoying each song. With a strong first effort, it will be exciting to see where they go next.
RIYL – The 1975, Anchor & Braille, Lael, The Wild Wind