It’s the year 2000 and I’m heading off on a road trip. Before I start, I decide that I need some ‘road trip music’ so I head off and buy the self-titled album of a band that I don’t know called New Found Glory. From the second that the first riff on the first song kicks in, I know that I’ve made a good choice: this is perfect for driving fast and leaving your troubles behind.
It’s now the year 2018 and I just listened to The City Beautiful by Felicity and a lot of those old feelings have returned. Again, from that first riff, the Orlando-based band have my attention. There’s a power and a brightness behind the intro that suggests that this is going to a song that I’m going to struggle to listen to sitting down.
… and then the lead guitar kicks in. The riff is perfect in that it drives the song without unnecessarily complicating it. The energy of The City Beautiful doesn’t relent and the vocals definitely stand up to the quality of the rest of the band. There’s a cohesion about Felicity: every instrument adds something and the pace and power that they create is genuinely exciting. All of a sudden I’m back in that car in the year 2000, listening to a band, who have me hooked in less than 30 seconds.
It’s not a coincidence that the song has that ‘summer road trip’ feeling because that’s obviously where the band have pitched it. The lyrics open with the desire to drive to the seaside to get away from their worries and the tone of the song is basically set from there. There are plenty of songs about feeling bad and everything being wrong. This one is pure optimism and I love that about it.
The music just makes you want to jump around and feel good and the lyrics are full of references to things such as warm nights after dark, theme parks and going to where you go to forget life. The blend is faultless.
As far as songwriting goes, Felicity really know what they’re doing. The increase in tempo in the pre-chorus gives the impression that it’s building to something. When the chorus kicks in, it’s everything that you want it to be: bouncy, heavy and the perfect rhythm for jumping to at gigs.
If you want to turn down the lights, wallow and feel bad, give The City Beautiful a miss and dig out your old Bright Eyes cds. If you want some straight down the line, old-school, bouncy, feel-good pop-punk, you’re going to struggle to find much better than Felicity.
The City Beautiful had me wanting to call my friends, grab my skateboard and bounce around to loud music until nothing matters anymore… it’s a pity that I can’t skate.
“Based in Orlando, Florida, FELICITY is praised for their highly energetic blend of Hard Rock and Pop Punk. The five-piece band consist of Damien Fagiolino (Vocals), Andrew Rapier (Guitar), Cory Comly (Guitar), Mike Alosa (Bass), and Tyler Dennett (Drums) Since their inception in 2013 FELICITY has grown from playing dive bars in Central Florida to touring with national touring acts all over the United States. They have had the pleasure to perform at festivals like Vans Warped Tour, Sun Fest, Florida Music Festival, and Fort Rock 2017.”
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Iain Wheeler was born in the Wirral, England and now lives in Bedfordshire (after a short detour to Lincoln) with his wife and 2 children. Iain grew up listening to his parents’ record collection, including things like Little Angels and Bon Jovi. He has since moved on to an eclectic collection ranging from The Wonder Years and Mayday Parade to Bright Eyes and Mojave 3. Currently, he is a school teacher who plays tenor sax for ‘Codename Colin,’ a ska-punk band who released their first EP ‘Outgunned’ in 2017.