Today’s Top 5: The Frisbys

It never ceases to amaze me when quality artists go unheard not just by the masses, but by me. Such is the case with the Frisbys, who are fronted by twin sisters Helen and Nicola Frisby. They’ve been doing their thing in England since at least 2013, when they released their first EP, the folky Philosolove. In the years since, they’ve released two additional EPs and a handful of singles, continually expanding their sonic blueprint beyond the acoustic guitars and flute of that first outing. Theirs is now a sound that conjures the folk-rock of Fairport Convention, the folk-pop of Fleetwood Mac and the folk-country of First Aid Kit, not to mention the folky flavors of the Merseyside’s Sundowners. 

Released a few weeks before Christmas, their latest single, “Hurt Me,” is a thing of Byrdsian beauty, with glistening harmonies gliding atop a catchy groove. The lyrics delve into the first beats of hope following a bad breakup, when someone new catches the eye.

In addition to the sisters, the band features Will Cattermole  on bass, Tom Finigan on drums, Sam Keer on electric guitar, and  Sal Palekar on violin and piano. Their last EP, the five-track My Wicked Mind in 2020, was a victim of bad timing. It should’ve turned many ears—and likely would have if not for the pandemic, which made promotion near impossible. That said, it’s well worth seeking out—and, like the rest of the band’s discography, is available to stream from all the usual suspects. “I Heard,” which is the soundtrack to this behind-the-scenes look at the EP’s recording, is one highlight:

“Gretna,” first released as a single in 2017, is another. As they explain on YouTube, it’s about a young couple that discovers that the ideals of marriage don’t always match the reality.

They’ve also got a few cards up their sleeves, such as “You,” a gem they shared in early 2021 that they’ve yet to officially release. It’s absolutely gorgeous. 

They also have a knack for tackling cool covers, include Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” which they recorded at St. Pancras Old Church in Central London in 2014.  

Another treat: Their take on Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” in 2019.

Last, there’s this: a stripped-down rendition of “Hurt Me” from a few years back, not long before My Wicked Mind was released.

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