Aphelia are an Indie Pop band based in Hull, formed in 2018 under the name ‘Leave The Light On’ by front-man Sam Ayres. The band rebranded Jan 2020 after multiple line-up changes. Their debut EP ‘It All Started With A Girl’ – coming March 27th 2020 – shows their broad influences from across the genre, combining catchy guitar riffs and vocal hooks, with large scale production and processing.
‘It All Started With A Girl’ reflects the clichés of the modern indie band, looking in to the emotions someone feels when a relationship ends. Sam’s vocals providing an almost transparent view into how he feels, wearing his heart on his sleeve. Whilst reflecting on the end of relationships, he manages to maintain the sense of hope that everything could work out in the end.
The first single ‘A Little While’ (released under the name Leave The Light On), clearly reflects the influence from artists such as The Wombats and Circa Waves. The guitar lead track is the most band centric of the songs, with the rhythm guitar and drums pushing the track forward. The lyrics centre on the feeling of longing that come after a break up, looking back on how the other made you feel whilst questioning whether your feelings are relevant: ‘I think I love you, but I don’t think I should do’.
The second single ‘TooLate’ – released 28th Feb 2020 – pulls more from the influence from bands such as The 1975. This track, with its catchy guitar riff and disco drumbeats, keeps the upbeat feel of the other tracks whilst still juxtaposing that against the lyrical themes. The lyrics are an open letter to all the relationships that ended without ever feeling fully resolved, once again hoping that the ‘other’ will come back and everything will be sorted, ‘if in time you find, I’m still playing on your mind, you just say so, it won’t be too late’
The final 2 tracks on the EP named ‘Stayed Mine’ and ‘MyMind’, are written about the same relationship but from opposite sides of the breakup. ‘MyMind’ looks at a relationship where you’re questioning whether you’re feeling the right way, how you find that you can often decide that you’re go to change how you think to make things work. The chorus however is more of a message to holding on to whatever you can if it makes things better in this crazy world. This track pulls again pulls inspiration from The 1975, but also from Bon Iver and Francis and The Lights, with their use of vocal processing and harmonies.
‘Stayed Mine’ was influenced by bands such as Larkins and Marsicans, with more of an emphasis on the drums and bass groove as the driving force of the track. The lyrics follow the raw feelings of trying to move on from a relationship once it’s ended, summed up by the line ‘I’m moving on to someone new, but they’re all flawed when they’re not you’. Unlike earlier tracks on the EP chorus isn’t longing for something so much as drawing a line, despite lasting feelings ‘You should have stayed mine’. This being the final track of the EP finds the final lyrics being fitting ‘this is the end’ this reflects the feeling of someone not wanting to keep going back to the same situation, it also reflects Sam’s longing to stop the cycle and move on to new themes within the music.
Aphelia site clear influences from indie heavy weights The 1975, The Wombats, Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club. The band also takes influences from other genres such as J Dilla, The Weeknd, John Mayer, Troye Sivan and DNCE. Taking production elements from across different genres, with Bon Iver’s ’22, A Million’ having a big influence on the sound and tone. Sam’s longing lyrics are often juxtaposed by the indie disco drumbeats and upbeat jangly guitars.
With the EP tackling breakups as a topic, recognizing the difficulty of moving and coming to terms with changes, the band still aim to keep an upbeat musical tone to the music, with them theme of hope holding strong throughout.
‘It All Started With A Girl’ is being released on multiple streaming platforms March 27th, with an EP launch gig at The New Adelphi Club Hull March 26th.
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