Thursday 22 February 2024

Flight Mode

Flight Mode are a three-piece emo band from Oslo, Norway that have been around since 2021. They've released a succession of three EP's, all with names derived from times and places. Out the gate this band hits a nostalgic tinge, which is bolstered by the wistful music they make. Clean guitars noodle over these mid-tempo tracks, with an intentional, quivering vocals delivered with palatable vocal deliveries. It's carrying the torch that bands like Death Cab For Cutie and The Appleseed Cast did in the early 2000's, with nods to the midwest emo sound of the late 90's. Recently their three EP's were compiled and released all together by Tiny Engines, which is the essential here as their discography to date has been flawless. Enjoy.

1. Sixteen
2. Fossil Fuel
3. Animals
4. Go

1. Twentyfour
2. Blinks
3. Togerthness
4. Dö Yoü Rëmëmbër

1. Thirtysomething
2. Hyperventilate
3. Surprised At All
4. My Brothers & My Sister At The Funeral

1. Sixteen
2. Fossil Fuel
3. Animals
4. Go
5. Twentyfour
6. Blinks
7. Togerthness
8.  Dö Yoü Rëmëmbër
9. Thirtysomething
10. Hyperventilate
11. Surprised At All
12. My Brothers & My Sister At The Funeral

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Toru Okada

"Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating". Once again, we descend into the depths of despair once a year, same time same place, on February 14th. As everything becomes lonelier, we pick one band to invest our woes in, and this year is a solid one. If you want more sad orchestras, all previously installments are listed at the end.

Toru Okada were a six-piece screamo band from Austin, Texas that were active from 2003 to 2006. They put out a self-titled full-length, two splits and a few demos. These early demos are what compromised 8 Songs, a compilation initially released in 2004 before being re-released in 2019. It was followed by 10 Songs, which contained the same tracks plus the two cuts off the Olive Tree split. I prefer the former version, which to me is their definitive release, so that's what's included here.

The influences often cited along with this band are I Hate Myself, Portrait, The Khayembii Communiqué, and The Spirit Of Versailles, which are apt points of reference, though they truly do stand on their own. They bring in a healthy dose of melodrama to their melancholic, arpeggiated clean guitars, with quick dynamic shifts breaking into cathartic climaxes on the brink of breaking chaos. The dual vocalists provide a whole other dynamic layer, often layering upon each other and varying between scream, sung, and quite often spoken. Lyrically, more often than not they are suited for the introspective melancholy of days like today.

As a fun side note on an unfun day, their guitarist and main songwriter from 2003 to 2004 was Alejandro Rose-Garcia. He's also an actor, appearing in a few episodes of Friday Night Lights (he's the Swede, for those who have seen it). He's ever better known now as the immensely talented one-man band Shakey Graves, which you're undoubtedly familiar with if you've ever perused the "Popular" section of Audiotree's Youtube channel. Nothing ever works out, it only gets worse, don't enjoy as you'll be back here this time next year.

1. Toru Okadu - Our Great Cities
2. Die, Emperor, Die! - Dear Friend (Never Give Up)

1. ...So He Could Hear His Footsteps
2. Shadowless Nights
3. Saccharine Leaves
4. A Graveled Street
5. Ruined Tongues
6. Kiss Me Through The Computer Screen
7. Lights Out
8. Emonologue

1. Toru Okada - Long Questions
2. Toru Okada - The Second Floor
3. Olive Tree - The Bird's Song
4. Olive Tree - The Lone Islands

1. Shadowless Nights
2. Fields Burned Golden
3. Ruined Tongues
4. Saccharine Leaves
5. Kiss Me Through The Computer Screen
6. A Graveled Street
7. So He Could Hear His Footsteps
8. Our Great  Cities


Closure were a five-piece screamo/emo band from Rockville Center, New York that were active sometime in late 90's, most likely 1996-1997. Unsurprisingly, their output is very limited, consisting of one compilation track, a split (with the fantastic Breakwater), and a sole LP, their essential release. They masterfully use loud/quiet dynamics, with wiry and angular guitar leads cutting through hard-hitting chords and pounding rhythms, with a scathing vocal delivery. If you're into bands like Portraits Of Past or Four Hundred Years, this underrated gem will be of massive appeal to you. If you need any coercing, they were also they were tangentially related to Saetia back in the day, playing shows together and sharing a label (The Mountain C.I.A. put out both bands self-titled releases).  Enjoy.

1. Closure - Servant To Silence
2. Closure - The Children's Crusade
3. Breakwater - Eleven

4. The Trial

1. K.M.
2. Sebastian
3. Silhouetted
4. Inferno
5. Time Off
6. Untitled