Album, a story told through tunes


Special to / The Advocate

The Australian music duo Flight Facilities released their latest album, “Down to Earth,” on Friday.

By Brian Boyle, Spotlight Editor

There is almost nothing better than a story which grips you and runs away with your imagination. The flood of inspiration and adrenaline imparted by a masterfully crafted work is amazing in how powerful it can be.

The only thing better than a story capable of this is when music has that power. In today’s musical landscape, most albums are merely collections of singles an artist put together around the same time, and less about capturing an overall theme or mood.

It has become extremely rare for artists to release albums which contain the amount of care and labor necessary to truly enrapture an audience.

Flight Facilities, an Australian electronic production duo, released its debut album, “Down to Earth,” on Friday after it had already been leaked on the Internet — and it is phenomenal.

The duo, who began mixing other artists’ songs in 2009, have worked for over four years to produce an album that is not only stunning in how the music flows and fits together, but will also stand as a staple for the electronic genre as a whole.

Just over an hour long, “Down to Earth” is less an album than it is a modern-day symphony. Every track on the album blends with the next, creating a gapless playback that can quickly leave the listener lost in regards to what song they are listening to or even oblivious to if the songs have changed.

Overall, the album is smooth. It is a blend of electronic, fast-paced beats which are capable of making the heart thump and race with excitement and smooth, calm melodies paired with bass lines that are similar to Daft Punk’s recent album “Random Access Memories.”

The first song on the album, “Two Bodies,” opens with an optimistic melody that blends into an almost tribal drum beat. The music seems simple, but it is a deceitful simplicity. The song features singer Emma Louise, who provides the track with a soulful harmony. The lyrics are descriptive of the effect the song has, “Come over or not, I’ve/Been so ready to dim my mind/your body a drug, for mine,” paints the image of the rapture two lovers feel near each other.

The backing melody and beat constantly rise and fall, deceptively slowing and then increasing in tempo to make the heart race again.

The second track on the album, “Sunshine,” features the comedian Reggie Watts and is genius. As “Two Bodies,” ends, the music becomes funkier, more upbeat.

The lyrics on this track shine, changing as the song progresses. Watts and Flight Facilities leave the listener constantly guessing at what would come next. It is damned hard to not sing along with the track. Watts’ rich voice fits the track perfectly and almost seems like just another instrument blending in with the background. The lyrics are rich and clever and serve to capture the attention the first created.

The album listens like an electronic version of “American Beauty.” Where the Grateful Dead were renowned for their ability to explore musically and create truly beautiful, moving tracks, Flight Facilities has managed a very similar feat with electric means.

“Down To Earth,” is a perfect title for their debut album as it is the sort of album that has capitalized on the global fame the duo has earned through the release of singles from the album since 2010. The tracks focus on feelings and moments that are common.

The duo musically explores first and forbidden loves while celebrating beauty and loss.
“Stand Still” is the fourth song on the album, and features a driving beat which almost makes one want to get up and run along with the music. The song is sung by vocalist Mickey Green, who has a light, smokey voice which adds a sort of calm flavor to the song that makes it perfect for kicking back on a sunny day.

The album’s sixth song, however, is the crowning achievement on the album. “Clair De Lune,” is a mournful track featuring hauntingly beautiful vocals by Christine Hoberg. Her chillingly rich voice sings out over a crying violin and a beat that seems slow at first, but a careful listen reveals it to be deceptively fast.

The song makes the heart race while the mind wanders. The smooth, calm sound serves as perfect background noise to deep thought, or as the perfect companion to sing along with on a late night or early morning car ride. The track paints the picture of rain smacking against a window, and the lyrics promise a story of a love that is in danger of falling apart.

Flight Facilities has created a debut album that is so close to perfect it begs the question of what the duo is going to do next. They are just beginning the first leg of their world tour, which will only touch the United States in New York and Los Angeles.

The album is amazing in its completeness, and tracks, which might not be one’s favorite when listened to alone, become phenomenal when listened to in the context of the entire album.

When a group releases an album that makes you listen to it completely through every time because you just cannot pick a favorite song, you know its a resounding success.