Far Caspian // Holding On // Single Review

This past few weeks saw promising Leeds band Far Caspian celebrate the release of their new single Holding On (the first track from their forthcoming debut EP due to be released in the summer). The track extends Far Caspian’s growing reputation for producing well woven dream pop with complex melodies, light reverb vocals and a tight drums and bass arrangement. On this track the use of keyboard provides an extra electronic feel, while the chorus has a good sweeping uplift. Fans of the likes of Tame Impala, MGMT or Smith Westerns will not feel out of place here.

Far Caspian were recently on the line up for Cape Cub’s headline February visit to the Leeds Lending Rooms and H2N witnessed their tight and rousingly diverse 30 minute set which left the almost capacity audience buzzing for more. I was particularly taken by the deft plucking guitar work of Nath Sayers, which soared above but melded well into the vocals and rhythm guitar from Joel Johnston and the solid and swinging bass and drum from Alessio Scozzaro and Jof Cabedo.  I spotted a look and a grin between the guys during one particularly tight passage in the performance where the two guitars, the bass and drums were particularly banging; I recognised and applauded that emotion: “Nailed It!”

A song from the Far Caspian back catalogue I particularly find lush is Hideout for its hangdog vocal delivery (think Strokes); overall a wonderfully pretty piece of guitar work with a banging sense of rhythm. In truth there was no room for any prisoners in this massive live set.

The guys of Far Caspian are from Leeds College of Music which helps account for the different accents and backgrounds of the guys; I caught Joel Johnston’s unmistakable Northern Irish accent while he was introducing songs, while Jof Cabedo is originally from Spain. I did puzzle over the origin of the band name too; was it inspired by more obvious things, or did the Caspian Pizza House on Far Gosford Street in Nath Sayer’s original home town of Coventry have a particular significance? I guess some things are destined to remain a mystery for a while longer.

The boys have released a video to accompany Holding On. As they say themselves the video makes no sense, but it shows the band larking around in a house full of IKEA lamp shades, includes fitting themselves into kitchen cabinets and sitting and standing on random pieces of furniture. You can watch the spectacle at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctsq5BtbV1s. If you prefer to listen to the song without these visual aids Soundcloud can be your friend: https://soundcloud.com/far-caspian

Chris R

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