It is rare to find a band who perhaps sound even better live than they do recorded and polished. Steel city’s finest Braver Than Fiction showcase their impressive musical talent in their live EP, King Of Crows. Released in July, the four-track EP fuses together a variety of different styles and influences, making it incredibly difficult to pinpoint any set genre. Which is exactly what makes Braver Than Fiction so refreshing.
The EP opens to the eerie sound of a single crow’s cackling caw, instantly creating a sense of intrigue and haunting mystery. However this is shattered by the upbeat jazzy tones of title track King of Crows, transporting the listener from ominous crow’s call to a surprisingly uplifting party atmosphere. This bizarre yet captivating beginning signals the direction of the rest of the EP; never settling on one regimented genre, always twisting and turning. Candle-blind is equally as impressive yet much more understated; a sultry, soulful, seductive track that contrasts from the previous. Penultimate track Mr Jones (Fear of Falling) highlights the natural talent and raw power of vocalist Mel’s voice. However the true gem of the EP comes in the form of closing track Once Bitten, Twice Shy; a bluesy ballad which would provide the perfect soundtrack to a breakup. There is an effortless yet charming rasp to Mel’s voice that makes the song thoroughly believable and heartbreaking.
Though it would be easy to define the EP as folky indie-rock, there are subtle hints of blues and soul woven throughout that stops any such conclusions being drawn. Mel’s silky vocals are simply effortless; the soul and power driving them makes for truly captivating listening. What is most impressive, though, is how easy it is to forget that all four tracks are live recordings. Braver Than Fiction deliver a stand-out EP; if King Of Crows is anything to go by, this Sheffield five-piece has a promising future ahead of it.