I’ll admit. A debut single from a fresh faced, indie pop four piece is hardly one of the Music Industry’s most endangered species right now. I would also concede that even if by some miracle you found one that caught your eye, TikTok will always be on hand to bury them with 50 that didn’t. So all that rather begs the question, do we need another one? Well, if it’s Playfare you’re asking about, yes. I think we do.

With the band all hailing from different parts of England and Wales, it was a Hogwarts-esque letter offering a place at Leeds Conservatoire that brought the band together. Despite only playing their first show in May, the quartet have made it clear that they are not in the business of hanging around as here they are less than a year on, brandishing their debut single. And what a single it is too.

In the hands of anyone else, ‘You Love I’ could quite easily have settled for a life in the “swipe and you’ll miss it” saloon. As a track it’s well produced, Vocalist Gina Yorke’s voice is endlessly listenable and it even has a nice catchy chorus. So, a job well done then? Not for Playfare.

Out the gate, this song doesn’t walk it struts and as soon as Dan Sanderson’s baseline takes you by the hand, you’ll find that you’re strutting too. If that doesn’t hook you immediately not to worry, the guitar and vocals don’t hang around either. Both landing simultaneously with style and intent in equal measure, leaving you under no illusion that slowly, slowly catchy monkey is not the Playfare way.

Now, I could go on talking you through every section of the song like this (in fact I suspect most reviewers probably would) but I believe if I did that, you would walk away from this review missing the point entirely. It should come as no surprise to hear that four third year conservatoire students have delivered a competently performed, three and a half minutes of pop music or that it’s been well produced or even that the artwork looks great.

What I think we should all be marvelling at instead, is simply quite how far beyond their years Playfare’s maturity stretches. Like the very best of steaks, no part of this tune is ever over or underdone. Not one. Rob Crosby’s guitar tone is a fantastic case in point. Even at its rawest, it is sharp and muscular yet somehow never bullish or ham fisted. Think John Wick not Fast and Furious.

This surgical level of care can also be found in the song’s lyricism. Throughout, Gina conveys the story of a failing relationship with enough maturity to allow you to keep a straight face yet enough humanity for the track to resonate with you wholeheartedly.

That’s what makes this single so good. It’s the perfect balance between what is done and what is not done. Utopia is reached whilst the shark remains un jumped.

I realise that I have arrived at the end of my review without even mentioning the fantastic Dom Ritchie on drums. I mean no offence by this, in truth I mean quite the opposite. Like every other aspect of this single, the drums serve the song to a tee. They’re most certainly at the party, they’re just not throwing up on the living room floor, you know what I mean?

All in all, I think this is a fantastic debut from a band that shows real promise so stay tuned.

Written by Iwan Grant

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