Arising to a level of notoriety via their extended touring with turtle-necked alt-pop stars Blossoms, The Vryll Society are an entirely radiant proposition in their own right that not only match, but transcend their tour-mates. A fast rising band of astral voyagers, their mixing of textural psychedelia, spaced-out guitar tones and Happy Mondays swagger sounds instantly classic as it caresses your ears for the first time. Although they’re a band of Liverpudlians, they wouldn’t be ashamed of their Madcunian tendencies; “I think it comes from not wanting to sound like your hometown,” frontman Mike Ellis tells me. “I was actually joking that it's strange that they sound more Scouse and we're more Manc sounding, very peculiar.”
The Vryll Society are jacks of all trades. Whilst a quick search of their name into a search engine would yield a link to A Perfect Rhythm, in a live environment they specialise in lengthier psychedelic jams, a krauty rhythm section powering their shoegazing guitars into textural euphoria. The best example of this is on Coshh, from last 2015’s Pangea EP. Guitars most alike Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine battle with a driving post-punk baseline to set the perfect ethereal backdrop for Mike Ellis’ monkey man swagger, an area which stands The Vryll Society out from a crowd of shoegaze soundalikes.
The euphoria of a good solid pop cannot be forgotten though; Ellis remarks “'Perfect Rhythm' was a really important track for us, it got the ball rolling. It showed that although we can write these long liquid jams, we also know how to write a good pop song as well which is a vital thing.” Self assured? Yes. But this band’s confidence comes with an abundance of talent, a prowess for drawing a line expertly along the borders of free-flowing psychedelic mayhem and sun-kissed pop perfection.
This blissful brilliance is obviously something that’s unavoidable to more than just tour-mates Blossoms; this March sees The Vryll Society taking off to SXSW in Austin to test the US waters with their music which you’d feel attunes perfectly to long Texan days. “We don’t really know what to expect from it, to be honest,” says Ellis of the band’s big American road trip, “but we can’t to get amongst it. America's one of the world’s greatest countries, capital of the western world.”
In a post-Tame Impala world, there are more long-haired psychedelic five-pieces walking the world than there is guards on trains, but The Vryll Society stand out from the crop. From their name (taken from a concept in a nineteenth century German novel that paved way for the idea of the 'Arian’ school of thought) to their uncompromising blend of the most accessible pop and the most difficult psych, they’re a special prospect. Not only that though, they’re a distinctly British one at that; their sound can be traced to a lineage of shoegaze, psych and post-punk, with nods to Manchester and Liverpool’s rich heritage of music to lose yourself to coming at you thick and fast.
From the ascending tones of 'Deep Blue Skies', the atmospherics of 'Air', right through to the whirlpools of noise offered up on 'Self Realization', The Vryll Society are a band making waves here and now that you simply can't ignore. With that in mind then, it’s perhaps fitting that 2017 looks set to see the release of a debut album for the band. “It’s not complete yet,” ends Ellis, “but it’s written… We’re going to make a start on it when we’re back from America, but we’ll release a couple more singles and play some selective UK dates first.”
Get Three Songs: 'Coshh', 'A Perfect Rhythm', 'Self Realization'
Words: Cal Cashin
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