Today, Flasher announce their new album, Love Is Yours, out June 17th on Domino, and share its lead single/video, Sideways. The band’s 2018 debut, Constant Image, was a triumph – a set of songs both dizzy and explosive, balancing new-wave lushness and post-punk frenzy. Love is Yours steps up the ambition and reaches for the horizon. The record is ablaze with mood, melody, and carefully threaded hooks, finding the band foregrounding the pop sensibilities that had always been present in their previous releases. It retains the attitude that was fundamental to the band’s DIY roots, but cuts loose a touch of the angst. Though the songs process disillusionment and loss, the music evokes warmth and optimism. It is their best record and also their most generous.
Following the release of Constant Image and successful touring, it seemed like the Washington, DC music scene was in constant flux. Flasher was not spared a shake-up. Bassist Daniel Saperstein parted ways with the group. Guitarist Taylor Mulitz would eventually decide to relocate – first to Baltimore and then to Los Angeles, making the group bi-coastal. Working as a duo took a bit of recalibration. The songwriting process changed dramatically, but in a way that quickly began to feel energizing. “Once we had this implosion, we let go of the pretence and confines that we had pigeonholed ourselves into,” says Mulitz. “Going into this record, the vision was pretty simple: we wanted to write songs that came intuitively. We were leaning into that while consciously creating a real space of trust and openness.”
Now a duo, guitarist Mulitz and drummer Emma Baker had to reimagine Flasher’s voice. Love is Yours was recorded in Washington, D.C. with long-time friend Owen Wuerker, who also helped flesh out the instrumentation by contributing additional bass, percussion, synths, and guitar. Rather than binding the duo to its past – to geography, old habits, or trusted sounds – the familiar environment proved liberating. Working out of Wuerker’s well-appointed home-studio allowed inspiration to arrive off deadline. With no shows in sight, Flasher could relax on presenting as a “rock” band. Baker and Mulitz shared vocal duties, tweaked tempos, structures, and dynamics accordingly. They toyed with genre, melody, and texture.
Today’s Sideways single and video (directed by Camille Smura) evokes the liminal stillness-in-motion feeling of a long-distance drive – attentive but adrift, relaxed but reflective – with a laid-back groove that is at once motorik trance and fluid boogie. “Lyrically this song uses metaphors about driving as a means of escape/reflection,” says Mulitz. “I’ve found that a lot of self-reflection and big realizations come to surface during the course of a long drive where I'm forced to sit with my own thoughts (which is where the idea for the racing video came from).”
Listen to Sideways here
Pre-save Love Is Yours here