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Navigating emotional currents with Catching Flies’ new record “Tides”


George King, better known as London-based electronic DJ and producer Catching Flies, has fine-tuned the art of melding together eclectic sounds to blur the lines between genres. Combining the sounds of downtempo, ambient, and electro, Catching Flies is a testament to his musical literacy and figuring out the right amount of each sound to caress your eardrums. His first album, Silver Linings, debuted in 2019. Five years later, he brings us an emotional album dedicated to the happiness and sadness he feels in his own experiences.

Fittingly called Tides, Catching Flies experiments a lot with sonic textures with this album, pairing sounds that evoke conflicting feelings and reflect emotions come in waves, and often, humans and nature can produce a whirlwind of reactions that can be both create and destroy.

The track “True Colours” stands out on the album, which creates a melting pot of musical tapestries heavy on Latin-influenced melodies and Caribbean flair. The saxophone is highlighted towards the end, bringing the song together with jazz-fusion influences. It gives the audible essence of sipping a pina colada by the beach while enjoying the breeze.

Each track feels like deja vu, with familiar sounds and feelings that can trigger a memory. The instrumentation on each song captures reflection and introspection, as George takes you on a journey with its ups and downs. “Snow Day” slows things down with emotive synths and humming. Orchestral melodies envelop the song and create significant moments that you’d typically hear in a soundtrack for a film. You can almost picture yourself as the star of your movie scene.

The seventh track and lead single, “Magnolia,” is heavy on the feelings of atmosphere with lush piano chords and glitchy vocal sampling to create both a dizzying and calming experience. They are highlighting the complexities of human emotion. We break from the heavy feels on the next track, “Friday Lake.” “Friday Lake” is a jumpy dance jam-packed with synths that sound like the title: having a Friday night party on a summer evening by the lake.

The title track, “Tides,” comes last and leaves us with a familiar feeling of childlike nostalgia created with high-pitched cracking vocals reminiscent of a broken record and rising and falling synths. Steel drums give it a tropical edge that puts extra character into the track before drifting into a violin solo.

Catching Flies did an amazing job and if an alien landed on Earth today and asked the loaded question: “What is the human experience like?” I would play Tides and watch them go through the motions.

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