Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It would be something to have a hand in actually cooking up clouds, in procreating them, in forming them and bringing them into the world as if they were infants. They could grow just the same way as children do, though at a faster maturation rate, like cows or cats - reaching full adulthood in a few years rather than 18 or more. They would come out of the womb much more advanced, able to stand immediately like lion cubs and horses and deer, and they could likely be delivered by mothers everywhere without the aid of an epidural for they'd arrive with out any boney elbows or melon heads.
These clouds - watching them with their training wheels on, braces and retainers bulging out of their mouths, as they got confrontational and angsty through their accelerated and abbreviated teenage years - would take on the kinds of personas that Brooklyn band Flying might want from them. They would be the characteristics that could only come from a being or a nebulous marshmallow of a natural glob of weather or shade or mirage. They could be full of freewill, a drizzly disposition, a soft spot and a temper that could blow up a mailbox from over a thousand yards away. These would be impressive clouds, but there would be many of them, flitting around, crossing each other, floating into and around each other, like ghosts of the headless horseman. The clouds tumble out of the dark ether and stick together in the shape of a majestic chariot, pursuing an Ichabod Crane, a forest full of beheaded horse themes, spooking night travelers in their galloping wake. They build up into chariots of phantom steeds and big, round wheels that don't have any problems no matter what the terrain is like.
Flying, the work of husband and wife Sara Magenheimer and Eben Portnoy, along with Eliot Krimsky, is a band of many different striking examples of this marauding and scampering horseman, without a head to look out of, but without the need to necessarily chase people shitless around the woods. The trio brings into the delicate and playful music less of that frightful structure, but still finding every opportunity to explore multiple tangents and add undertones that aren't feeling so sticky sweet. It's as if Flying's playing with an eye of gloom that sends out bashful bullets and can still be reasoned with. It's not at all something that could stalk you and hang over your head like a black cloud, just one that could help your body cast a bigger shadow upon the gray concrete. The three voices that Portnoy, Magenheimer and Krimsky glaze together bob and weave like twee prize fighters, acting in a synchronized fashion to give off blue eyes and deviled horns. Their words, such as this line from "#1 Chariot," "When I was younger, the air was tainted in my mind," are howling, rattling chains that smack lightly against your cheeks like lost leaves in the autumn. These are the kinds of songs that are bruised inside and yet doing just fine on the outside, maybe just like these fictitious clouds that we've proposed should be born just as humans are, acting out like the headless horseman.
Flying Official Site
Fertile Crescent Official Site