10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Listening to On a Bedroom Wall, a surprisingly wide range of artists come to mind: pastoral New Zealand bands like The Bats and The Chills, sunshiny pop outfits like Foster the People, and at times (as on the bubbly “Spirits”) smartypants dance purveyors like David Byrne and Talking Heads, to name a few. On this recording, this sprawling collective features founder Sean Rawls and other members of his Masters of the Hemisphere, along with a number of musicians from groups like The Aislers Set, Track Star, Lowercase, and others. How such a large group can cohere and work together is always a bit of a head-scratcher, so let’s just skip ahead to the end result. From the booming, New Order–ish bass and synths on the effervescent “Elsie Dormer” and “Travelin’ Man” to the rainbow glee of “Big Trouble in Little Alabama” to the Afropop–meets–Tom Tom Club sparkle of “Cleat Talking,” this is the group's finest recorded moment since Still Flyin' formed in 2004. (Its 2011 collection of previously released odds and ends and remixes, Neu Ideas Compilation, is also a great place to sample the group.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

Listening to On a Bedroom Wall, a surprisingly wide range of artists come to mind: pastoral New Zealand bands like The Bats and The Chills, sunshiny pop outfits like Foster the People, and at times (as on the bubbly “Spirits”) smartypants dance purveyors like David Byrne and Talking Heads, to name a few. On this recording, this sprawling collective features founder Sean Rawls and other members of his Masters of the Hemisphere, along with a number of musicians from groups like The Aislers Set, Track Star, Lowercase, and others. How such a large group can cohere and work together is always a bit of a head-scratcher, so let’s just skip ahead to the end result. From the booming, New Order–ish bass and synths on the effervescent “Elsie Dormer” and “Travelin’ Man” to the rainbow glee of “Big Trouble in Little Alabama” to the Afropop–meets–Tom Tom Club sparkle of “Cleat Talking,” this is the group's finest recorded moment since Still Flyin' formed in 2004. (Its 2011 collection of previously released odds and ends and remixes, Neu Ideas Compilation, is also a great place to sample the group.)

TITLE TIME
3:05
3:57
3:39
3:40
2:31
4:38
5:05
4:33
4:05
4:12

About Still Flyin'

Starting as more of a collective than an actual rock band, Still Flyin' is the brainchild of singer/songwriter and member of indie pop group Masters of the Hemisphere Sean Rawls, who formed it in late 2004 in San Francisco after relocating there from Athens, Georgia, in 2003. Rawls was inspired to put the group together by a song he had written while a member of Je Suis France, "Never Gonna Touch the Ground." To jam on the song, he invited a wide range of friends to rehearse, resulting in an ever-shifting personnel of upwards of 15 musicians and singers at a time, performing locally. The Still Flyin' press biography lists Yoshi Nakamoto (of the Aislers Set), Drew Cramer, Zach Moran, Gabe Saucedo (of Red Pony Clock, Rafter, and Half-Handed Cloud), Frank Jordan (of the Bright Lights), Mindy Schweitzer, Brian Girgus (of Track Star and Lowercase), Becky Barron (of the Bright Lights and Poundsign), Phil Horan (of Maserati), Lizeth Santos (of Red Pony Clock), Alicia Vanden Heuvel (of the Aisler Set and Poundsign), Marjan Esfandiari, Jaime Knight (of Dear Nora and Poundsign), and Bren Mead (of Masters of the Hemisphere) as members of the group, which has been augmented live by Wyatt Cusick (of the Aislers Set and Track Star), Josephine Olausson (of Love Is All), Jens Lekman, Tara Shackell (of Architecture in Helsinki), Isobel Knowles (of Architecture in Helsinki), Mark Monnone (of the Lucksmiths), Richard Baluyut (of Versus), and Terese Nordstrom (of the Jens Lekman band).

In April 2005, Still Flyin' organized the Mind Zap Festival at McLaren Park in San Francisco, after which the band embarked on a West Coast tour opening for Architecture in Helsinki. Antenna Farm Records signed Still Flyin' and released the group's debut EP (or "EJ," as the label put it, for "extended jam"), Time Wrinkle, on June 13, 2006. A second EP, Za Cloud, followed on April 24, 2007. In 2008 the band released its first album, Never Gonna Touch the Ground, for the Ernest Jenning label. It found them branching out into more traditional indie pop along with reggae and jam band influences. By the time of the 2010 EP A Party in Motion, the band pared down its lineup to a core group led by Rawls and ditched all the reggae and Dead in favor of a synthy, indie pop sound with strong elements of '80s pop and '70s German rock running through it. The 2012 album by Still Flyin', On a Bedroom Wall, retained this approach and refined it, making for their best album to date. ~ William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    San Francisco, CA
  • FORMED
    2004

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