When reviewing Shy And The Fight’s most recent single, All That We See Or Seem, we were moved to present a very rare 5 star review and were personally struck by their multi-faceted, intensely melodic folk-pop. The North Walian / Chester based seven-piece have been around since 2009, slowly gathering a fanbase founded on euphoric, bittersweet live performances incorporating a level of instrumentation that is complex but somehow comes across as effortlessly simple.
Taking a look at the range of musicians comprising the band, it’s clear that combining them all without things becoming cluttered or overwrought requires a delicate, deft touch. We have glockenspiel, violin, banjo, cornet and more alongside the usual players of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Indeed, the vocals themselves show a willingness to add as much as possible to the melting pot. Michael Deponeo, as the main voice, is flanked by Christopher Done, Thomas Hyndman and Carrie Anderson – all of whom add layer upon layer of harmony until the listener is wooed and caressed into a state of joyous, uplifting bliss.
Much like Tunng or Iron And Wine, to whom there are some notable similarities, Shy And The Fight usher all of these sounds together into a beautiful, timeless patchwork that flits between the barnstorming and the soothingly melancholic. The arrangements are subtle, slowly expanding as the songs build to each of their climaxes. All That We See Or Seem is representative of this, but is barely the tip of the iceberg. It’s an incredibly skillful approach that is sadly undercooked by many bands adopting a similar style.
Thankfully, plenty of people appear to be taking notice. BBC Radio Wales’ Adam Walton is a massive champion of the band. Their song How To Stop An Imploding Man was featured in the Jack Wills Easter Collection advert. And their festival appearances, subsequent plaudits and critical praise grow quite naturally as the band expose themselves to the world. Their path to notoriety is already progressing with startling speed, and it seems it will continue purely through the band’s continued existence and production of stunning material. Just the way things should be, we feel. SMR