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Public Symphony - Review

Public Symphony

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

PUBLIC Symphony, aka Dobs Vye and James Reynolds, specialise in epic, skyscraper music that is heavily influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and Zero 7.

Their eponymous debut album is therefore the perfect antidote to anyone who has grown fed up of the pop-punk nu-wave sound that is currently enjoying a massive revival.

Public Symphony’s music is thoughtful, reflective, relaxing and slowly rewarding. It is constructed around epic melodies and lush instrumentation that really does reward the patient listener.

The formula is established from the outset with the soaring Wings, a tender ballad that effortlessly conjures a relaxed feeling of flying above the clouds.

Second track, Stronger has a touch of Coldplay about it initially, thanks to its piano bedding, but it then drops an easygoing beat that hints at trip-hop.

Throughout, there is a strong electronic element that’s vaguely reminiscent of the sound of William Orbit, while Vye and Reynolds are seldom afraid to drop in some backing female vocals to lend several tracks a soulful vibe that really does add a little extra to their softly-delivered vocal style.

The Pink Floyd comparison is particularly strong during tracks such as Touch, a tripped out mini-epic that hints at the Gilmour style of Comfortably Numb and Dark Side of the Moon – albeit with electronic modern flourishes.

It’s one of several undoubted highlights that established Public Symphony as masterful music makers who aren’t afraid to flex their creative muscles.

The electronic element dips into Beloved territory for White Dove, which once again delivers a soaring sensation (especially if listening to it with your eyes closed and the volume turned up high), while there’s a vocoder element to penultimate track, Fill Your Sails that works well against the serene beats and stabs of guitars.

It’s as though the names have been deliberately chosen to reflect the sense of feeling Public Symphony want you to experience.

Not everything works, of course. Some tracks are a little too mainstream conscious, while the occasional one takes a little too long to find its rhythm (I Do being a prime example).

But on the whole, this is a deeply impressive offering that serves notice of a compelling new talent, while providing some excellent music to chillout with.

Track listing:

  1. Wings
  2. Stronger
  3. Breakthrough
  4. Touch
  5. Rise And Shine
  6. Children Of The Heatwave
  7. White Dove
  8. I Do
  9. Anything Is Possible
  10. Fill Your Sails
  11. Epilogue