LOYALS – self titled

Years ago, Tuned Up had the chance to write about a worship band called Skyhook, compliments of our PR friend Rebecca Cicione. That band has since evolved into synth-pop-rock group LOYALS, who landed a deal with Tooth and Nail Records.

Now, the two of you reading that recognized the Skyhook name might be wondering, why throw in that anecdote at all? Well, even though Loyals is a completely different band (not a renamed band), one thing that carried over from band to band was the sheer brilliance in the tone of the songs. By brilliance, I mean the color of the songs of course. “Bail Out,” for example probably is a synesthesia patient’s dream if they’re looking for a straightforward antidote to all this grey weather we’ve been having. Shoot, even if you’re not blessed with the ability to see sounds as colors, these songs might help uplift you anyway.

Now, here at Tuned Up we aren’t going to pretend everything is groundbreaking and the best thing ever. But, we write about what we find genuinely enjoyable, and we follow our gut feelings about where to react to new tunes. LOYALS was one of those bands I had a gut feeling about.

The record generally stays positive, but occasionally gets a bit more introspective. “IDC” lives in the same family as The 1975’s “Lostmyhead” but with more synth and less fuzzy guitars. Less shoegaze and more post-rock. “Never Too Far Gone” is predictably poignant and wistful, as is “Hold On.” For me personally, poignant pop rock songs in this vein are something I can only take in limited doses. Yet what other folks consider heartwrenchingly sad, I find beautiful and peaceful. You got to love the subjectivity of music!

It’s pretty obvious if you’ve followed Tooth and Nail Records for a long time that LOYALS occupy the label’s corner within the industry that is dominated by The 1975, Coin, and the like. It will be interesting to see if LOYALS rises to become the cream of the crop. They certainly are ready for tour with the big boys and there’s a hungry fanbase waiting for them.


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