First the painstaking attention to detail in each note becomes evident. Then a heartfelt honesty shines through in every word.
After that you’re hooked. Whether baroque pop, anti-folk, earthen indie, none or all of the above, Sets provide a special sound that’s wholesome goodness, delivered with a sincere smile.
You need firm foundations to build up that kind of effect. A mutual respect earned from solid friendships, and shared passions for creating music that looks to envelop listeners in a whirlwind o(…)f craftsmanship, subtly pushing boundaries to forge new sounds.
So it makes sense that Sets found their way into the Leeds limelight while on joint journeys through academe. And, as if to reinforce this notion, four of the five members hail from neighbouring schools, albeit some 200 miles south of this adopted domicile.
But let’s start by skipping to the beginning, during a time when nu-metal and skate punk were providing adolescent inspiration. Singer-songwriter Dominic Scott first put pen to paper, Harry Pearce dreamt of deft drumming, while Tim Worthington honed his guitar skills.
Today in Sets all three showcase these talents, alongside fellow Tunbridge Wells alumni-cum-pianist Leila Grove, and Beverley born violin aficionado Jessica Watson. In a flat above Leeds College of Music jam sessions turned serious, more instruments were picked up, and influences- from rock and hip hop to classical and soundtrack- were transcended. The freshly formed five-piece had carved out their niche.
That’s how they got here, though where exactly they’ve arrived remains unclear. A family, striving towards their own style as a summary of these individual personalities, put together as one whole.
The result is something that can only be achieved by this meeting of minds, with equal creative impetus afforded to all involved.
Their truth, searing melodies and collective ethic leaves little room for comparison. Noah and the Whale, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and The Miserable Rich will jump out to lazy minds. But really Sets are nought but original when everything’s said and done. That said, it’s hard to deny hearing them play feels more like listening to old friends.