“We could be forever / like Bonnie and Clyde.” So begins “Forever,” the lovely first single from English indie duo Percival Elliott’s upcoming debut album. Delivered in singer/pianist Olly Hite’s falsetto, the line’s bittersweet yearning sets the tone for the track.
Between Hite’s heavy piano chords and the singer/guitarist Samuel Carter-Brazier’s guitar arpeggios, the track blends lightness and gravity, rising and falling, as hope and love struggle against the weight of the world.
Though some have called their style folk-rock, “Forever” sees the duo tapping into something like the post-britpop of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” or the 60s nostalgia of Jet’s “Look What You’ve Done.”
The difference, where Percival Elliot shines, is a progression and arrangement with more reservation and nuance. Little compositional things reveal the smart craft at work, like a hook in the guitar line that later makes its way into the piano, or the way even the drums sound forlorn as the verse gives way to an ascendent chorus.
In the moments where the track finds its lightness, as in the bridge, where strings rise up alongside glowing “oohs” and “ahhs” in the backup vocals, the result is pure pop transcendence.
In recent interviews, Hite and Carter-Brazier have touted Supertramp, Queen, and Father John Misty as influences on the album, titled Save Your Soul. With its timeless sounds and depth of sentiment, “Forever” bodes well for what’s to come.