Flights, an ambient rock band, from Chicago by way of Milwaukee, has been taking copious notes whilst they listen to the likes of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Death Cab for Cutie, and other Brian Eno-esque musicians.
They push the envelope between “this is too weird to listen to” and “my parents might enjoy this album”; and they do so successfully. Piano based, but not afraid to jump into hard guitar jams, or open themselves up to sonic experimentation; they have leap-frogged any Coldplay references. There are cinematic builds and emotional outlets throughout the music, Winter 1 being a fantastic example. The play between tension and release, supported by an off putting (but serenely awesome) drum beat sends the listener into an emotional spiral. It drives and dips, drawing in upon itself and eventually grows and blossoms into a complete being keeping your interest with stereo delays, some drones and a simple jam-band style guitar riff. Major props for production fellas, you have dually impressed this careful listener.
At first listen, singer Eric Hillman’s vocals don’t seem to fit, but, like the rest of the album, they grow on you and attach themselves steadfastly, eventually landing, with perfect emotion, in Old Wings. When he sings, “I squint my eyes at the setting sun, won’t come inside, won’t rest my head, until my work is done.” – you feel it, you understand it, and you believe it. He is speaking truth here and it’s never been sung with more beauty.
It’s a quality album, with fantastic production – one that should keep audiences beckoning for more.
They play tonight (September 2nd) at the Empty Bottle at 9PM.