Summer is here and the house is a convection oven. What good is a fan in an oven? We don’t ride our bikes we just roll, finding a decline and moving down it to feel something, something that isn’t pure heat. It’s 11:32 am but we might as well start drinking. We melt across the hill like cats on the kitchen floor and slowly sip the slowly warming cider. Soon the sun will be cutting down through those trees. There’s no Golden Hour at this time of year.
Fortunately-for when the sun is too bright and does not glow but burns-we have music like Flights to evoke The Golden Hour. It’s more of an early autumn/late spring phenomena and Wikipedia defines it as such:
Typically, lighting is softer (more diffuse) and warmer in hue, and shadows are longer. When the sun is near the horizon, sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere, reducing the intensity of the direct light, so that more of the illumination comes from indirect light from the sky, reducing the lighting ratio. More blue light is scattered, so that light from the sun appears more reddish. In addition, the sun’s small angle with the horizon produces longer shadows.
Now this is all very technical but also, I think, quite beautiful. What an absurd thing to do-to attempt to describe this magical quality of light! “The scattering of blue light” though…what a lovely idea.
But we’re supposed to be talking about music here right? Well, this as legitimate a description of the sound of Flights as any thing else I would attempt to cobble together. Their sound is not that of an overcast afternoon or a clear starry night. This folk music is of The Golden Hour, where things are magical and melancholic; where the play of light and shadow is utterly absorbing; where the strange tangibility of this light moving on the air creates a swelling of the heart and ceases the mechanisms of the mind; where we feel ourselves in motion and are aware of nothing but the blue light scattering itself through the trees and upon the water.
So here we are in the Pacific northwest, where I’m told it doesn’t rain as much as everybody says. Grandparents will be your hosts today. Don’t let the name deceive you, we will be indulging in decidedly ungeriatric behaviour. You’re goddamn right ungeriatric is a word.
I can’t…I can’t quite pick who the riff on Arrows reminds me of. It’s something from the east coast of America, circa mid 90’s. Open your windows and shout the answer out…now… and I will send the winner a BCH care package (dandelions, half a jar of old honey, aspirin and a digital recording of my cat talking to a starling. No takers? Ok). Not suggesting the song is any weaker for having a classic rock sound : it reverberates with a sneering spagh-western groove and the gorgeous vocals of….Allison? That’s all I can get from their facebook. That’s all the research I am doing.
SloWave is a laconic little charmer too, all sidling up to you with a gleam of Yo La Tengo in it’s eye and a handful of magic dust from San Franciso, 1969 to throw in your eyes. Yes it had it’s way with me and it can do it again, for all I care.
The title track is where we get serious though. Nay, this shan’t be another sweaty hot little fling, this is something special and I don’t care how much my inner ear protests and the other people on the tram glare at me, this thing demands excess. It’s a song that sorta goes through stages..it could well have ended around the three minute mark but they rev this baby up behind the gates before letting it hit the track all bucking and rearing, creating the sort of sonorous haze where I would like to live, all of the time. Hmm it’s switching gears in my head right now. I was going to stay home tonight but now, maybe not.
Closer Golden Isles is a pretty number with just the right amount of salt lining the rim, a jangly kicker reminiscent of the best Wolf Parade and Shins. But fuck the comparisons. I’ve made a fine new friend in Grandparents and I’m totally going to visit them more often.