Small Black Arrows

Small Black Arrows is the most unique extraordinary EP to be released this year says Wayne AF Carey. Beautiful stuff which will stun your senses.

Manchester has been producing some great music recently that doesn’t always stick to the same genre. There are small pockets of different talent sprouting up from all areas. Grunge: tick. Indie Anthems: tick. Riot Grrll: tick. Cold Water Swimmers: tick. Post punk has never needed a kickstart so I can’t fuckin’ tick that one… When you here this full EP you’ll be struck by how this duo are so on their own in sound and vision from the rest of the scene. The Wave EP stands out from anything I’ve heard this year yet with it’s venture into trip hop, folk, electronica, spine chilling vocals that soar and a slick production that shows wisdom. Read on for an introduction to this amazing duo…

Small Black Arrows is the brainchild of Luke Bailey and Jimmy Hanley. Combining eclectic influences from folk to trip-hop & from RnB to rock, they create intelligent, atmospheric music using alternative instrumentation to question traditional arrangements. Recent global limitations & their multiple discipline backgrounds in the arts were the catalyst for Small Black Arrows formation after Jimmy and Luke became friends through Manchester’s thriving artistic venues, pre-lockdown. Their sound is forged through passionate DIY dedication to their craft; a product of their urban, working class, roots.

“I’ve always been galvanised by restriction” considers Luke Bailey: “It’s a feature of people with our background. Some of my earliest memories are me and my mates using Tippex to redesign trainers, to make them look like the ‘in’ brand at the time. We were learning to use what was at our disposal to express ourselves”. Jimmy Hanley: “We’re both intrigued by the classic pop template, we sort of came to each other with a proposal, but with no orchestras, choirs, session musicians to fall back on, and with everything closing around us we accepted the challenge and managed to manifest something that stands up”

The duo are releasing a track off the EP every week from today, starting with The Wave which is pure Simon & Garfunkel for our generation. A slick bit of haunting folk layered with hints of Alt J and RadioHead. Pathway To Contrition gives a nod to Seal with those soaring vocals that are uplifting and charming without taking the piss, whilst Cherophobia above is a slice of the most chilled out trip hop filled with an assortment of mandolin, lap steel, bass and keys. Luke Bailey’s vocals are just stunning to top it all off. A grand statement of majestic beauty that’s grabbed hold of my heart and will surely have the same effect on anyone who listens to these three tracks of blissed out magic.

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Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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"I'm a 50 year old man, and I like it!" A music nut from North Manchester residing in Northwich. If it's good I'm on it. Most genres covered but mainly alternative post punk indie with a love for all things psych.

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