London – Managing to claim one of the last remaining original, yet familiar sounding band names are The Airplanes, hailing from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I have literally no idea where that is). With an ever increasing popularity within the digital realm, the band are yet to release a full length debut, but already have their own distinctive sound; something even more impressive given the jangly-pop genre of their tunes.
In truth, despite having several previous EP releases, The Airplanes are still in their embryonic stages, which makes songs such as “Paper Hearts” all the more impressive. From it’s opening bars, there’s a weird familiarity nestled within the happy-go-lucky vibe. The lyrics, whist earnest, are somewhat uplifting, and the quaint backing vocals give the track warmth. Joshua Vest and co describe themselves as ‘lo-fi garage indie pop’ amongst other things on their page on a well-known social networking site, and they’ve got their self-assessment pretty spot on.
The band though, is not just a one-track wonder, with several great songs littered across their bandcamp site (even if a couple could do with slightly more professional mastering). “An Inverted Lovesong” from their first release is sweet and akin to Bright Eyes on happy-pills. If you’ve got nothing else to do in the next two minutes, take a listen - wherever you are, it’ll put a smile on your face.
As you delve further around the band’s website it feels more like you’re flicking through an indie-movie soundtrack, and whilst The Airplanes are probably not on Zach Braff’s radar for his much talked-about follow up to Garden State, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. There’s a Shin’s-esq feel to many of the tracks, in particular the lush “Waiting for June”.
All things considered, there’s just about a solid album’s worth of music available already and with new material being written all the time – February sees the release of single “Young” – there’s no reason why the guys can’t pull together a record of real quality over the coming months. Digging around on bandcamp and soundcloud sites can often be a demoralizing experience, cursing your fellow man for the pain many of them insist on inflicting on the rest of us after discovering their Mac has ‘Garageband’. However, every now and again a band like The Airplanes come along, pick you up and give you something to smile about and remind you why you’re spending your time listening to music in the first place. A hugely impressive body of material so far, and would advise anyone with ears to look out for future releases as they appear throughout 2014.