‘Taste, colour, sensation, and a world of fruit’

Eddie reviews The Army, The Navy’s debut EP ‘Fruit for Flies’ for SCENE. 5 stars.

(Image: The Army, The Navy (Lucy Black))

Fruit for Flies is a debut EP that is stunning in its intricate harmonies, evocative lyricism and dreamy soundscapes. 

The Army, The Navy are an American duo, Maia Ciambriello and Sasha Goldberg, who have recently begun to garner attention on TikTok and Instagram.

The EP itself is defined by the duo’s singular sound: the two harmonise intricately and intimately with each other, savouring chords which build gently but piercingly to moments of triumphant climax. If the harmonies themselves are not proof enough of the two singers’ congruence, they recently shared a clip of themselves recording the EP in separate booths, their hands moving miraculously in sync with each other despite their separation.

Fans of BoygeniusWithout You Without Them will find here an entire EP filled with similarly lush vocalisation, while the pensive, sensuous soundscape will appeal to listeners of Clairo

The lyricism of the release is another real strong point; most of the songs address loving yet uneasy relationships, but do so in a poetic, almost impressionistic manner. Taste, colour, sensation, and a world of fruit dominate the record. They very much deliver upon the title’s promise of sweetness with its looming inevitability of eventual rot.

The lyrics of Persimmon declare that the singer holds ‘a strong belief in all things inconsequential’ and this fascination with the beauty of the insignificant sits at the core of the record, no clearer than in Vienna (In Memoriam), a track initially released as a single which  has become the duo’s most popular release to date. 

Vienna takes as its subject a rat, killed by the pair’s cat while they were living in New Orleans. They turn what could be an inconsequential, whimsical loss into the most gut-wrenching piece on the record, referring to the creature’s anxious mother and the lines ‘And God I’ve lived a lifetime because I’m big and tall, but who am I to kill for the crime of being small?’.

The unexpected subject matter of the EP’s defining single is not the only example of the band’s commendable willingness to experiment with their own sound in this debut. The opening track kicks into an equally unexpected, sumptuous saxophone solo about two minutes in. Similarly, the record’s dreaminess comes to a triumphant conclusion in the closing track Wild Again with a more rock-adjacent instrumentation and vocals.

Overall, Fruit For Flies is a genuinely sumptuous release that I cannot recommend enough to anyone even slightly excited by the promise of intricate close harmony and songs about rats. A debut EP of this quality bodes well for a band that music lovers should be keeping a very close eye on in the coming years.

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