Loyal is a band, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps that’s the key. A Brighton-based three piece with London roots whose ranks are occasionally swollen by a whole host of auxiliary members - including a five piece choir - to try and understand exactly what it is would be to miss the point. To listen to LOYAL is to enter a movie theatre halfway through the greatest film you never saw only to be instantly gripped and confounded at the same time.
The core of the bands sound, narrative and direction come from two producers and a lyricist, the collective’s producers, play, record, sample, resample, layer and filter the sound from an old light bulb factory on a quiet Brighton street. “Everything is real,” says Loyal on a process which is completed with melody and lyrics by local lyricist . “Piano, cello, choir, synth. We don’t sit in room with a laptop. We’re striving to make something classic”.
“When it comes to our song meanings we think of them more like narratives, each song providing a piece in the LOYAL puzzle, th puzzle created is up to the listener, think of our songs like an audible Rorschach test (A psychiatrist’s picture test) whether trying to define the genre or understand the meaning behind the songs, we want “the meaning you find to tell you more about yourself than it does about us”
The first image that LOYAL released into the world was the insistent groove of Blue & The Green. “This was the one that started it really,” says the writer. “Initially when you listen, it’s about a relationship that’s dying. That line ‘Let the blue and the green fade behind me’ is jealousy and envy. But in our story it becomes a question, do we need to leave the planet earth?.” These writing techniques prove there is a real strong double meaning with in their music, you can take a line and it works for both. We can just hope the LOYAL movie is being written a long with the music.
Their next string of releases included ‘House for You’ a real ‘goosebump provoker’ (that's according to DJ legend Pete Tong) The tribal anthemic smash ‘Moving as One’ any fifa addicts will know exactly which one that is, then we got a slice of Moorish euphoria layered inside ‘Light Up for You’ so infectious it’s almost at 10 Million plays on spotify and then the dreamy ‘Patterns that Fall’ this one has any listener swimming through lakes of nostalgia.
We await for further releases patiently and can only hazard a guess as to what genre and narrative they might sit on, we do know they embarked on a full recording session at the legendary Abbey Road where they brought along brass, choirs and a film crew, so we can sense something gripping is going to come out of the Brighton trio very soon!
From a live point of view, you may see the collective wearing different disguises from a stripped down dance set to an all bells and whistles live extravaganza featuring gospel choirs and brass sections, either way you’ll always be treated to live instrumentation drums, guitars, electronics and vocals, although 100% live they blend their songs seamlessly into one another like a DJ set allowing no gaps or silence, so those dance floor shapes are to be made through out.
The band have played an unprecedented two Maida vale sessions on the back of just three singles for Radio one, on one occasion wowing Mista jam provoking him to proclaim “You are amazing live, seriously amazing” They also hypnotized crowds up and down the West Coast of America at the tale end of 2018, from San Diego up to Seattle, according to the band they barley needed to sing as everyone seemed to know the words.
We now have festival season on the horizon and so far we are glad to see Latitude, Funk and Soul weekender and numerous European dates all set in stone. Before the summer really hits they will also be headlining shows at the berghain in Berlin and Razzmatazz In Barcelona. There are also rumours of a Chic and Nile rodgers support, what a night of pure love that will be!
New music, bigger shows all eyes are on all things LOYAL for 2019