GOYA’s ‘Marshfire’ lets you become the main character

Are you the main character? Of course you are, and for that reason allow me to introduce class-act cinematic jazz band GOYA. Comprising some of the Bristol underground’s most hard-working young instrumentalists, the band’s live EP in 2021 was brimming with tumbling piano, woodwind wails and interesting rhythm. These silky smooth sounds have a unique power; with them, the band has the power to generate and populate swirling vignettes and montages around you in real time, each featuring you in the main role.

Latest offering ‘Marshfire’ doubles down on this ability. In the layering of instrumentation, its somersaulting piano, and that breathy sax I do so enjoy, ‘Marshfire’ is built similarly to its predecessors, but such a comparison is only initial. Being less rooted in a physical space than the previous four tracks has seemingly allowed GOYA’s collective imagination wider recourse to roam. The result is four wonderful minutes of progressively composed emotional spellcasting, containing universally marvelous instrumental contributions. Special mention to guitarist Oliver Kadouchkine, who is more keenly felt on this new track –  his presence allowing GOYA to dip their toes into the coruscant puddles of post-rock and augment the track’s impassioned final chapter. This section and the track at large wouldn’t possess even a sliver of the same heft without the rhythmic volcanism of drummer Stan Glenndinning. 

Cinematic is really the best way to describe this band and their work – ‘Marshfire’ is gorgeous in its performance and gripping in its simmering tension and barely-contained pathos. For a few minutes you’re the main character in a really good movie, and this is a power not to be overlooked. But as GOYA look set to only outdo themselves in the future, it is clear that the real main character is the jazz they’ll make along the way.

Words: Ed Hambly // Photo: Rupert Gammond

‘Marshfire’ is out now. Stream the track below.

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