We’ve waxed lyrical about Brighton quartet Thyla ever since we heard their debut single ‘Ferris Wheels’ back in 2017. Since then, they’ve developed and honed their sound, subsequently evolving from a band heavily referencing 80s gloom-pop in the ilk of Cocteau Twins, into a behemoth of their own. Whether it’s with each brilliant single, or their quite brilliant live performances, Thyla have etched their way into the Brighton zeitgeist. For Thyla hold their own unique place in indie music right now; where they’re not only bringing something iconically new to the saturated platter, but they’re inducing their own distinct vitality and glamour on their brand of dark and ingenious guitar pop.
Their debut EP, What’s On Your Mind, is a beautiful fusion of these ideas which sees lead singer Millie Duthie tower above glistening guitar lines and a moody rhythm section. Opening with ‘Only Ever’, the band instantly set their manifesto with an almighty thunder of drums and guitars that could – and should – fill arenas up and down the country. Stunningly, it only gets better from there as Duthie’s lusciously atmospheric voice takes centre stage. Quite profoundly, there’s a touch of some of indie-rock’s most iconic voices in Duthie’s wonderful tones.
Additionally, the two singles we’ve heard before fit perfectly in place on What’s On Your Mind. While latest single ‘Blue’ is an anxiety-riddled burst of energy, with a wickedly exciting spiky guitar-line and a euphoria-seeped chorus, it’s predecessor ‘Candy’ darkens the tone a little. “My teeth fall out in my dreams: what does it mean?” Duthie inquires on the quartet’s most sombre track yet. It’s fitting, too, as Thyla have always been a dream-pop band with a razor-sharp edge, and ‘Candy’ is the best example of that yet.
It’s with ‘Bitter’, however, where we’re exhibited to a brand-new side of the band. Without a doubt the most impressive track on the record, it sees bassist Dan Hole take on lead vocals, with Duthie rising for its epic chorus. Sounding like The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas taking on a Pablo Honey-era Radiohead track, it’s an almost iconically indie style that hasn’t been heard for at least 15 years but, with the band’s innate sense of elegance, they grab the song by the horns and wrangle it straight into 2019. A simply brilliant indie-pop song for a new era, it’s a perfect example of the brilliance of the band.
We’ve known for some time that Thyla were special, but with What’s On Your Mind it’s looking awfully like the rest of the country is about to catch up and, honestly, it couldn’t happen to a better band. What’s On Your Mind is a fusion of Wolf Alice’s atmospheric pop and the Cocteau Twins’ epic sense of sheer style, yet the finished product is something wholly unique and accessible. As good as the Brighton music scene is, Thyla are the cream of the crop, and this EP is their best showcase yet.