The Fireflys are an alternative rock/Americana hailing from Runcorn, in the North West of England. They are based around songwriter and lead vocalist Lee Wylding, and have become one of the North West’s most popular bands. They’ve already garnered plenty of media attention, with Mike Peters of the legendary punk group The Alarm describing them as “a good mix of REM and The Gin Blossoms”. Other strong influences include Neil Young and Tom Petty, but The Fireflys have developed their own style.
This song, Runaway, is the second single released since they signed to Strawberry Moon records and is taken from their forthcoming fifth album Only Us, Northern Lights. From the melodic introduction featuring some fluid electric lead guitar, it’s apparent that this band are treading their own path. Lee Wylding has a strong, distinctive voice that bodes well for their long term appeal and musically it lies somewhere between the well crafted songwriting of Tom Petty, but with the raw, edgy guitars of Neil Young circa Rockin’ In The Free World.
The musicianship of the entire band is first rate, but most importantly Runaway shows their ability to produce the kind of memorable choruses that pack out stadium arenas. Lyrically, it is romantic without being sentimental: “Runaway with me, let the people stop and stare, cos we don’t really care...”. There are echoes of Springsteen and The Smiths in these words which rock aficionados will appreciate. They will also enjoy the spirited, mellifluous guitar solo towards the end, not something you hear much on the radio these days.
Overall, this is a superb song that brings back classic songwriting and authentic musicianship in an era of over-produced, synthetic pop. The Fireflys may well capitalize on the recent resurgence in popularity for alternative music, and they have everything it takes to break through into the worldwide market. Runaway could well be the song that helps them kick down the door to the big time.