Halfway To New York: Treading Water EP

Having already garnered great acclaim with their debut single Out of Time, UK band Halfway To New York, return with their EP Treading Water. Consisting of five openly impressive and stirring songs it is hard to imagine anything other than increased praise and swarms of new fans sweeping their way. With songs as tight as a frogs mouth near a chimpanzee (yes I have seen that video) and melodies as vibrant and warm as any summer it is an energetic emotive feast of songwriting and music to fall within the full beckoning arms of.

Consistently given comparisons to the likes of Snow Patrol and Stereophonics, the quartet of vocalist Sam Burkey, guitarist Scott de Jongh, bassist Daniel Mount, and drummer Martin Griffith, have not only captured the imagination of the UK but made strong impressions over the water with showcases to industry moguls in LA at the end of February leading to shows at CAA and at The Viper Rooms. Treading Water can only enhance and elevate the eagerness for their sounds when it is unveiled May 21st on Truestone Music.

One can see the reasons for certain comparisons as the EP flows refreshingly over the ear, and even others mentions of bands like U2 in the describing of the sound can be imagined at times though most of all the band that does seem to vein the release is Doves, not so much in direct sound but the driving and persistent energy the bands both are able to infuse into their music.

The title track opens up with sizzling guitar melodies and a held back vocal to gently welcome the ear before the song finds its forceful drive and expansion into a full energised passion. The vocals of Burkey, fully emotive and heart drawn light up the words they deliver whilst de Jongh leaves blazing trails in the wake of his sharp play across the sky of the song whilst accompanied on most tracks by guest guitarist and co-producer Ross O’Reilly. It is not long before the infection sets in and one is fully drawn into trying to compliment the song in voice and limb.

The following What A Way To Go walks a gentler but no less impassioned path through the ear, its striking melodic power and craft an easy fit for the senses and imagination. It does not quite have the captivation of Treading Water but still leaves one with a smile inside something the single Out Of Time also more than achieves. It is easy to see why it had such a big response on its original release its energy and heart as fresh and bright as a spring day. As with all the songs on the EP it has an underlying intensity to it that makes it a formidable and hypnotic presence beneath the equally compulsive inventive melodic charm. The song thumps along with an excitable air but within a controlled and thoughtful frame to thrill the air around it.

The release is completed by crowd favourite at their shows, We Were Wrong and brand new track from the band Going Home, which easily instils a strong anticipation for their new material. As with all many of their tracks there is an anthemic quality to the first of these two which is impossible not to be affected by, the band coming together as a precise unit whilst allowing individual skills to excel within the flowing breath of the song. Going Home is possibly the most passion infused song on the release, its emotion dripping from each note and harmony that lines the track.

To be honest this genre of music does not light many fires here usually but Treading Water has made multiple appearances before ears outside of the review and is destined to make many more. Halfway to New York appear like they are mere steps from headier heights and the Treading Water EP the first large stride.

RingMaster 14/05/2012

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