flipturn is an Indie rock band from Fernandina Beach, Florida who just released their debut album “Shadowglow” this past Friday.
I didn’t know what to expect from this debut; flipturn has had a lot of success through their previous singles and EPs, but what tone would they bring to their first full album? I wasn’t surprised by the moodiness they brought into this album. I was happy to hear their sound really mature throughout this release.
Each song was clearly crafted with a lot of intention and the overall composition of the album was really appealing to me. It has a great mix of high and low energy tracks, but all meld together under a cohesive theme– reflection, contentment and moving forward.
“The Fall” – This is an ideal opening track– it holds a cinematic energy while introducing some of the sounds and themes we will expect to hear throughout the album. Flipturn has such a contagious excitement here which bleeds into the tracks that follow.
“Playground” – This track is what I expected the whole album to sound like, just a solid indie pop rock sound– to be anticipated from flipturn. I was glad to see them diverge from this in the tracks that follow.
“Whales” – This one is definitely one of my favorites on the album, it’s such a great exploration of musical texture that hasn’t really been seen in flipturn’s previous releases.
“Sad Disco” – I honestly was not expecting much from this track solely based on the name, but I was pleasantly surprised. It has a very fun energy that contrasts great with the moody vocals. My only gripe with this track is that a lot of artists seem to fall into the sad lyrics but happy song trope– I feel like flipturn could have used their newfound confidence for something a little more expressive.
“Brooklyn Baby” – There are multiple tracks on this album where flipturn is stepping away from its guitar-based-indie-rock-sound and moving towards a more layered, textured sound. This track is an excellent example of the new exploratory sound flipturn is aiming to create in this album. Every component in this track is unified– vocals, keys, bass, guitar– they are all working together beautifully here.
“Halfway” – I adored this track on my first listen, although it doesn’t take many musical risks, it has such a genuine sound. This track is probably the most vocal dominant; with longing lyrics similar in tone to their most popular track “August”. flipturn seems to have a lot of love stories that didn’t work out, “Still smell your lips, I still taste your hair / And I did not love you, and I’m well aware”. This song is unapologetically loveless and I love it.
“In Consideration” – This track, although not the most notable, greatly ties together many of the themes explored in the first half of the album: expectations versus reality. flipturn has released many tracks that reflect on past memories and loves, and this song perfectly encapsulates the guilt that comes from not appreciating what is around you in the moment. This track takes the first step in moving forward from regret which all starts with reflection, “I’ve got more love than / I could have asked for / I never meant to say / That I needed more”.
“Goddamn” – What an excellent placement within “Shadowglow”. It is such a refreshing release of anger that was much needed in this album. It opens with the explosive chorus, “Goddamn my poisoned mind / Goddamn the Internet / Sometimes I wish that, love was harder to find / But it’s cheap like cigarettes, and I’m running out of breath”. This song does a great job of maintaining the loveless tone from In Consideration and Halfway but begins to pick up the album’s energy. This track has a striking message encapsulated in striking music: the lack of authenticity within modern relationships and with ourselves is perhaps contributed to the growing reliance on social media. Discovering and expressing genuine feelings may be the pathway to contentment.
“Hollow” – This is one that I don’t think was needed in this album. I do appreciate the use of percussion in this track, and there is great compression and expansion in sound; but overall this track feels less deliberate.
“Burn” – In the opening of this song I had to check to make sure I was still listening to flipturn. Its electro-esque background is definitely a new exploration for flipturn but I am so glad they made this musical choice. The synthetic backdrop of this track juxtaposes with Dillon Basse’s wholesome vocals beautifully.
“Weepy Woman” – This is definitely one of my favorites on this album. The transition from Burn into Weepy Woman is so strong. I love some good bass and I love the bass line in this track. Not to mention, the high energy is simply intoxicating. The lyrics are a nice break from the repetitiveness seen in some of the prior tracks. Once again, flipturn is seen integrating a more textured sound as seen in Burn and Whales while maintaining their familiar indie rock tone.
“Take Care” – I am torn with this one, I definitely don’t think they needed this track in this album but I’m happy to see them take a bigger step into pop and electronic genres. It wasn’t quite bold enough to stand out within their other tracks, but provides a great moment of reflection within “Shadowglow.”
“Space Cowboy” – This one really roped me into the album. They released this track prior to the album, and what an excellent choice that was. This song really set the stage for “Shadowglow” without being the star of the show. It opens with a pretty standard flipturn sound but really opens up at the end into something much bolder. This track really demonstrates this newfound confidence flipturn is portraying throughout the entire album– maintaining their indie rock roots but taking strong leaps into other sounds.
“Orbit” – I really appreciate considerate album composition. I think it is important to include moments of pause and reflection within a longer album, and this final track does just that. It isn’t flashy. It’s a pleasant send off for the listeners.
I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of sounds in “Shadowglow”, after listening to this album all the way through I almost immediately bought myself a ticket to see them live. The variety of themes they tapped on in this album mirrored there variety of sounds beautifully. It is clear to me that flipturn is gaining more and more confidence with every release, and I cannot wait to see them perform these tracks live.
Stay tuned for a concert review in the near future.