“Atlas Sky” is the rousing, folk-Americana single by newcomers Rebel Kites. It’s one part Of Monsters and Men and one part Gengahr, another London-based band. It’s a masterful tune from Rebel Kites’ excellent EP, The Witnessing, which came out last week.
The four-track album itself is a cinematic, expansive dreamscape from the first to the very last track. While its foundations are in indie folk, multiple genres are merged into each song. The title track utilizes both the banjo and shoegaze to create a lush and atmospheric sound. It’s a brilliant use of different instruments an approaches, and the combination results in a song that just takes your mind to another space.
“Oh-My-O” starts off gently, almost in a whisper, before building into dramatic but dreamy climax. But instead of taking the final notes above and beyond, the band reins it all back to end on a quiet note. The song is an emotional, brilliant ride.
“Various Humans” is the song that stays closest to folk with some lovely instrumentation at the beginning, but as characteristic with the other three songs the harmonies are gorgeous, and the use of strings and keys adds additional textures to the tune. It’s a song that should be heard in an old church where the acoustics would bounce off the walls and create another layer of haunting beauty.
Rebel Kites are Alex Story (vocals, acoustic, electric guitar, engineer, producer); Polly Jones (vocals, violin, mandolin, electric guitar, acoustic guitar); Marc Pradas Gene (banjo, classical guitar, electric guitar); Nico Casal (piano, organ, harmonium); Paul Tyan (bass, percussion); and Bobby James (drums).