Brand New Friend: Seatbelts for Aeroplanes review – Belfast power-pop band takes off

Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 05:00


Seatbelts for Aeroplanes

Brand New Friend

Xtra Mile Recordings


The rich musical heritage of Northern Ireland will be put under the microscope by the imminent publication of Stuart Bailie’s book Trouble Songs. The North has been a tremendous incubator for numerous guitar bands over the years, launching a prolifically raucous tradition with The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers that continued with Therapy? and Ash, and now sees new blood emerge in the shape and sound of Brand New Friend, a young Belfast band who deftly fuse noise and melody on an impressive collection of well-crafted bubblegum power-pop. They’ve prompted the aforementioned Bailie to call them one of the most uplifting prospects on the Belfast scene. They deserve the accolade as Seatbelts for Aeroplanes is an assured debut that fizzes with youthful exuberance. Siblings Taylor and Lauren Johnson handle lead vocals and gloriously deliver the goods on lead single Girl, a short, sharp shock of a tune that recalls the brevity and directness of indie pop classics such as White Stripes’ Fell in Love with a Girl. While Seatbelts for Airplanes does not reinvent any sonic wheels, or break any new ground, it is a pleasing debut that marks this Northern quartet as ones to watch.