For all the throw-all-your-instruments-in-a- shopping-cart-and-push-it-down- a-gentle-[more:]
hill-with-a-microphone-inside- and-see-what-happens wackiness of Flying's debut, the Brooklyn band's two vocalists don't sound too amped up about it. Eliot Krimsky and Sara Magenheimer let their words dribble out lazily, sometimes twinning in listless duets, sometimes mumbling into the ether individually like an absent-minded child. It's that tension between the chaotic and the casual that makes Just-One-Second-Ago-Broken Eggshell such an amazing listen.
There's a childlike simplicity to many of the melodies on Just-One-Second-Ago-Broken Eggshell, a sweetness in the whistles and tinkly glockenspiel and handclapping that fill in Flying's songs. But just as apparent is a sort of spooky stillness, a quietude that accompanies songs such as "Last Trick" and "Soldier's Tongue" even at their busiest. Pretty acoustic guitar or harpsichord figures set up what could be perfectly lovely indie-folk songs, then inevitably they fall apart or are torn asunder by clattering, free-from percussion and out-of-tune piano bashing. Or silence. When recorders and horns add to the mix, they sound like they came to the party just after everyone left.
The hooks on "Alice" and "Forbidden Sands" emerge out of nowhere, and then they're set aside, never quite allowed to reach their logical conclusion. It's tempting to think that Flying is deliberately assailing the directness of the pop song, but there are too many truly beautiful moments for that to be true. Just-One-Second-Ago-Broken Eggshell is the sound of pop dressed up in its finest tatters. Rather than attempt to rewrite the rules of pop music, Flying constructs songs as if the rulebook had never been written.
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