UK Indie-Folk Duo Flyte Share Intimate New Single “Defender”
June 2, 2023 BY Jason Currell
Today, British songwriting duo Flyte return with the release of their confidently exposed new single “Defender” – This is the first taste of new music from Will Taylor and Nick Hill since the release of critically acclaimed second album This Is Really Going To Hurt (2021). Off the back of extensive touring around Europe and North America, Flyte have established themselves as an influential mainstay in music culture, gaining notable fans from Florence Pugh to Paul Mescal, Bon Iver to Madison Cunningham and even Lewis Capaldi for their crafted and confessional writing style. “Defender” was “written with our old friend M Field around the sitting room table with some classical guitars and a drum machine”, later being recorded at Konk Studios in London with Grammy nominated Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) and engineer Dom Monks. Every element of the tender but immediate love song was recorded on instinct, with live instrumentation. “I know that you’re behind the door, spiraling away from me”, writes lead singer Will Taylor, about his long-term partner, British singer songwriter Billie Marten. Writing their independent records (Billie’s third album Drop Cherries) across the room at one another in their North East London home, “Defender” is an introduction into Flyte’s most intimate and vulnerable songwriting yet. The official video, out today and co-directed with photographer Katie Silvester, captures the purity of love and features Billie Marten driving her Defender.
“We wrote ‘Defender’ gathered around our sitting room table with some classical guitars and a drum machine. ‘Defender’ is written from the perspective of someone trying to care for a partner with poor mental health, even though they may be unqualified, not necessarily any stronger, but trying none the less.” – Flyte
Selling out London’s Lafayette in just under an hour and headlining a sold-out Shepherds Bush Empire, singer and guitarist Will Taylor and bassist and vocalist Nick Hill continually inspire musicianship onstage by inviting their artist community on tour, akin to the spirit of late 80s supergroup The Travelling Wilburys (George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty). In the past year, Flyte have welcomed everyone from Bombay Bicycle Club, Holly Humberstone, The Staves and Mystery Jets to perform alongside them. The duo is also regarded as one of the UK’s greatest lyrical talents, penning songs with artists including Sigrid, Madison Cunningham, Mia Folick, Courtney Marie Andrews and poet Simon Armitage.
Taylor and Hill met at secondary school, eventually settling in Hackney, London. Taylor’s parents were both English teachers and inevitably, various literary influences trickled into the duo’s music – the band taking its name from Sebastian Flyte, a character in Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel, Brideshead Revisited. Flyte released critically acclaimed The Loved Ones in 2017, recorded with Burke Reid (Julia Jacklin, Courtney Barnett) in the Australian outback, which explored the ways in which people struggle to process love. The album’s crafted writing style and ambitious harmonic arrangements earned it the title ‘Best British debut of the year’ from the Sunday Times.
Following the emotive 2019 EP ‘White Roses’ featuring The Staves on the title track, their 5* (Independent) second album This Is Really Going To Hurt (2021), took them out to Los Angeles to work with Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver). This brought out a more simplistic and confessional approach in their writing style and focused entirely on the aftermath of a break up. After extensive touring of Europe and North America, Flyte have teamed back up with Sarlo, this time in London’s famous Konk Studios, to record their most confident and collaborative work to date, now working with record label Nettwerk (Miya Folick, Matt Maltese).
Flyte UK tour dates
Sun 2 Jul Barn on the Farm
Thu 27 Jul Cambridge Folk Festival
Sun 6 Aug Wilderness Festival
Sat 12 Aug South Facing Festival