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4: SLYE gives us four tracks of pure groove with new live EP 'PRESENCE'...

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Here we are, review number 4! I've been wanting to work with this band for years now, and so happy that I can review their 4 track EP 'Presence - Live from QUARRY' before it's release this Friday (20th October!). Of course I'm talking about SLYE; the funk, Neo-soul, indie jazz hybrid who's been gracing the Liverpool grassroots scene for years now. After many releases under their belt, Slye is releasing this explosive, 4 track, 8 piece band live arrangement, recorded live from The Quarry in Liverpool. Let's dive right in, track by track, and get you excited to watch and listen in full on Friday...


 

'Here and Now'

Hitting you straight away with heart-hitting disco drums and quacky funk guitar, this track sets you up for what's to come in the EP right from when you hit play. SLYE has always been one to melt many genres into one, and 'Here and Now' emphasises this to the extreme, almost feeling like a rock anthem by the end. Already being a released single in its own right, I recommend you listen to both versions of this tune when the live is released, as both give a different flavour and perspective to the song itself. Anyone who's tried to replicate a single live will know the difficulties of portraying the same level of energy and intricacy - but SLYE somehow tops both of these factors in the live version; a huge credit to the band and the arrangement.


'In and Out'

Changing the scene from the heavy 'Here and Now', 'In and Out' creeps in the aftermath with effortless keys and vocals, before hitting us in the gut with dark horns and a gritty drumline. 'In and Out' is a beautifully crafted track, both in its single version and in this live setting. The advantage of having this live recording as well as the previously released single version, is you can really see and feel the raw musicality between the band members, and senses are heightened as the track takes us on a sonic journey of neo-soul and speak-easy jazz. If you could soundtrack a dark, smokey room with glistening disco balls and the smell of whiskey on the rocks, this would be the theme tune.


'Ghost'

The closest you'll get to the feeling of losing yourself in the music at a gig, without actually going to a gig, is this live version of 'Ghost'. Of all the tracks on the EP, this video is already released, and you can check it out below. By this point in the EP, you've become accustomed to the ridiculously tight, in-the-pocket band, but they somehow get even tighter in this track. From the vocal melodies, to the horn stabs and the dirty bass line, this track will have you on your feet and wanting more from the second it starts, to the second it ends. I seriously recommend you check out the video of it below, to get a taste at what the rest of the EP has to offer from Friday.


'Be Cool'

This bonus instrumental track should NOT be overlooked. At a snappy 3min 20seconds long, this is an amalgamation of everything SLYE stands for: 'moving both the body and the mind'. If you like Nucleus' 'Alleycat' album, or pulling *that* bass face (if you know, you know), then this funk-led track is your new jam. Again, by this point in the album, you've got to know the musicians on a personal level with how they perform, but 'Be Cool' takes it even further. Despite being under 3 and a half minutes long, you are taken pretty much everywhere in the realm of funk and soul, and that's no mean feat.


 

You know what to do: pre-save the EP, check out 'Ghost - Live' below, and immerse yourself in all things SLYE discography in preparation for the full live EP release on Friday (20th Oct). If you ever need a quick hit of groove, this EP should be on your speed dial.


Credits: Songwriting / Lead Vocal: Slye Guitar: Jack O'Hanlon Bass: Fran Mills Drums: Tom Hudson Tenor Saxophone 1: Sarah Sands Tenor Saxophone 2: Luke Ledger Trumpet: Martin Smith Keys: Tom Barber Audio Engineer / Mix Engineer / Mastering: Jack Wait Filmography: Two Beards Studios.

by Meg Shaw, Local and Live Media

Review No. 4

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