Being trapped in my house for the past 4 weeks, with minimal human interaction and too much homework to comprehend, has (almost) driven me to the brink of insanity. But I’ve found that new music makes quarantine a little more bearable. So, when my editor sent me a bunch of different links to musical artists across the Triangle, I couldn’t have been happier.
One of the links was for Flash Car, a modern psychedelic pop-rock group featuring the works of numerous composers. It contained two unreleased songs “Two Minutes ‘Til Midnight” and “Inchworm.” Both tunes play on my affinity for psychedelic sound and odd storytelling, so I was immediately hooked when I listened to them for the first time.
“Two Minutes ‘Til Midnight” begins with a slick rhythmic cavalcade of drums and guitar, which pulled me in and made me feel like I was at my first house party, intoxicated with the buzz of laughter, dancing and cheap liquor. Fast-paced instrumentals match the nervous excitement and elation I tend to feel at the beginning of a party. As the song progresses, the instrumentals slow, mimicking a warp in time–the lyrics “silhouettes slide off the wall” is repeated as the tone becomes somber. The song builds back up to its original pace swelling into a crescendo of sounds that feel like bright colors and fireworks. Each element of the track comes together to produce the highs and lows of one trying to make the most of the night before midnight strikes.
Similarly captivating, “Inchworm” turned out to be my favorite. On its surface, the track sounds like the backing for a circus act featuring acrobatic inchworms, but upon further inspection, reveals a tale of longing and wonderment for these elusive creatures. Each element of the song, from its lyrics to its trippy storybook melody, encapsulated me. I couldn’t help but make associations to Tim Burton’s old film school animations and Amanda Palmer’s Evelyn Evelyn. As the song progressed, I pictured a ringmaster, hued with old film grain, allowing a group of bright green inchworms to practice their acrobatic acts in the palm of his hand. As I listened to it over and over, I kept thinking, ‘I have to make an illustration,’ so I did just that. It’s not every day you hear a song that makes you think of so many niche things, but “Inchworm” did that for me. Even if you don’t associate Inchworm with Tim Burton, Amanda Palmer, or a circus, you’ll most likely paint a picture of your own while listening to this tune.
Flash Car did magnificent work. Each song feels like a gift, wrapped with a unique blend of psychedelic intrigue and individualism. Now that the songs are released, I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did. Also, Flash Car, if you’re reading, thank you for making quarantine a little more interesting.
Featured image is an original illustration by Jodie Londono. All rights reserved.