In the market for new music? Lend an ear to London’s Indie-pop band Victory Kicks and their latest release “High Wires.”
Victory Kicks is an even blend of synth-pop and rock – their lead singer John Sibley might sum it up best, calling it “home recorded power-pop.”
“High Wires” is their fifth release and “No Great Shakes” is one of the new tracks PRP recently added to our playlist. It’s a combination of appealing lead vocals accentuated by great guitar passages all housed within an arrangement that captivates.
“No Great Shakes” was the song that ended up setting the tone for the rest of the album,” says Sibley. “It wasn’t the first song I wrote for it, but songs I’d recorded prior ended up getting left off or reworked because I was so pleased with the feel and sound…and tried to apply that approach to other songs on the record. I’m not sure what inspired the song, I wrote it in about half an hour one evening and recorded it all the next day. It came together very easily, although I’d had the title in mind for a while.”
No Great Shakes
Rhythmic guitar passages, great percussion and Sibley’s alluring vocals are the common denominator on most tracks, and “Unmanned Aerial Vinyl” is the band’s own independent record label. Like “No Great Shakes,” songs “Whenever She Writes” and title track “High Wires” are concise rock-pop journeys consistent with previous Victory Kicks releases and a bit reminiscent of early Coldplay.
“A high wire is another term for a tightrope,” says Sibley, “there’s something about the implication of a tricky, vertiginous balancing act that appealed to me and seemed like a good title for a record.”
Like Australia’s Tame Impala or Portland’s talented EXROYALE, the nucleus of Victory Kicks revolves around one very proficient musician – that would be Sibley.
“Victory Kicks sounds like a band, but a lot of the time it’s more like a solo project,” explains Sibley. “The others in the band who are all old friends of mine play in other bands and are busy people – we don’t get to actually play in the same room together much, sadly. Their contributions to songs are often added after the main recording is done,” he adds.
Sibley, a prolific writer and diverse musician, is also adept at recording “so it makes sense for me to work on songs myself first. I do this whenever I can, and then we add their stuff to it later and work out live versions of the songs.”
His inspiration? “Growing up, I used to listen to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, REM and Jeff Buckley,” says Sibley. “I went through a stage listening to a lot of stuff by the Dandy Warhols and then later on got really into Wilco, Guided by Voices, The National and more recently, Spoon.”
The North Fall
Harmonic guitar touches highlight the blithe, meandering “The North Fall,” another track receiving airplay both here and abroad. “(It’s) probably the most straight-forward song on the record, it’s about the feeling of a relationship coming to an end,” says Sibley.
“Everything about the recording is stripped down to a couple of sparse guitar parts and bass over a repetitive beat – the harmonic guitar line is about the only embellishment.” We think PRP listeners will approve.
Have a listen:
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