Somehow, some way, Brighton-based THYLA remain unsigned. Since 2015, the indie-rock quartet have unleashed one anthemic track after another coupled with the brilliant songwriting of front woman Millie Duthie. This combination has made them one of our favorite bands, and it all started with their debut single, “Betty”. Despite the uphill struggle to be heard and seen, THYLA continue to release music and gradually grow their fanbase. Their big break eventually should happen, but to do so may require re-introducing themselves to the world. Last Friday, they released a new EP, Everything At Once, which is the perfect gateway into the anthemic world of Duthie (vocals/guitar), Mitch Duce (guitar), Dan Hole (bass), and Danny Southwell (drums).
The record commences with the booming “Two Sense”, which is a sonic explosion that is meant to be detonated inside Wembley Stadium. As her bandmates’ channel a combination of the Sundara Karma, Black Honey, and even U2 (the ending guitar riff is very The Edge), Duthie sings to a friend on the verge of losing control. She hollers, “Wish there was a way to balance out your ways / To give you what it takes to carry the weight of this“.
Her storytelling reaches higher heights on the euphoric “Lenox Hill”. Combining disco flourishes to their searing pop-rock sound, Duthie recalls a young woman’s arrival to New York City, where she plans to make her dreams come true. But instead of ecstasy, she loses her way and is on the verge of being broken. The song, though, is more than just a tale of one woman, but the story of many whose hopes dreams are instantaneously broken.
On “December”, the band slow things down and deliver a heartfelt, emotional rocker. Duce’s guitar weeps while Hole and Southwell’s rhythm throb like the heartbeat of a person in desperation. Duthie, meanwhile, is reaching out and trying to console her sister, who is suffering internally. She painstakingly sings:
“And it’s all falling down.
I can’t hear the sound of you,
And what happens now?
And we’ve got everything to lose
When you’re not around.
I can’t hear the sound.
The record concludes with the ’80s-inspired, melodic rocker, “Everything”. Made more from a secluded, basement club than a cavernous stadium, THYLA create a dark, mysterious atmosphere. It is calm at first, but it gradually builds into an urgent rocker. The song at times feels like one is hurrying through a dimly lit alley and at other moments being lost inside a mansion. But this place, whether inside or outside, is not somewhere Duthie wants to be. “Now I can’t call you home”, she repeats at different moments in the track, as if she’s trying to convince herself that she needs to escape. And yet she cannot. Her ordeal is a mystery, much like how THYLA continue to hover under the radar. Their day, however, will one day come.
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