The Low Flying Angels
The Low Flying Angels is the brainchild of Indie Rock artist John Bair. The idea was to get a couple of friends into the studio with some of his songs and see what came of it. The result was a 4 song EP that represents the eclectic tastes of its creators. John grew up listening to artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie. Many of their influences can be heard on this self titled EP. The biggest of these influences resulting from the way these artists refused to be pigeonholed into one type of music. They continued to express themselves in diverse musical forms and transformed the landscape of Rock music forever. John's philosophy for The Low Flying Angels is the same. Let the songs guide you where they need to go, regardless of where that may lead. This is music for real music lovers. Enjoy.
The following is some background information on the EP's 4 songs, supplied by John Bair.
Nothing Blue But the Sky: This song is based around a simple lyrical concept. Write a song about having a great day. So many things in the world can lead to negativity and despair. It's often easier to be so critical of the world that we overlook the beauty of life. After looking through my lyric book, I found that many of my songs were about those things that most upset me. I didn't want to start off that way, when introducing myself to the world as an artist. I'm not a pessimist and I didn't want to come off that way. That's why I wrote this song.
The music was written to reflect the mood of the lyrics. It starts off light and ethereal and becomes emphatic in the chorus. This turned out to be my favorite song on the EP.
John Bair: Guitars, Vocals - Kevin McGovern: Bass - Andy Desiderio: Drums
Dischord: First I have to set the record straight. This is an intentional misspelling. Going into the studio, this song was only a concept. I had constructed it in my head but had no idea of whether it would ever come together. All I had was a bouncy bass line, some lyrics, and a guitar part that was a finger exercise I had used for years to warm up while practicing. We wasted a considerable amount of our allotted studio time trying to make sense of all this. Mike, who engineered and co-produced the project, told me I was on my own with this one. It was a disjointed mess that no one else could get their head around. Hence the name of the song.
The final straw came when I went to lay down the vocal track. It didn't fit. It wasn't even close to working. Mike stopped me a couple of measures in, and I agreed that the vocals needed a total rework. While he took a 20 minute dinner break, I completely rewrote the lyrics. The new lyrics also resulted in an epiphany. Instead of a Pop/Folk tune, I would turn this into a Punk/Folk tune. The lyrics seemed to beg for an angrier, more aggressive, delivery. That's what I gave them. This different direction brought all the other parts together. Mike was finally able to hear what I was going for and we ended up with a unique piece of music.
John Bair: Guitars, Vocals, Tambourine - Kevin McGovern: Bass
Nothing Left to Lose: I'm a huge fan of the Folk/Blues tradition. Artists like Lead Belly, Charlie Patton, and Mississippi John Hurt have become increasingly influential on my guitar style. I felt driven to put a classic style Folk/Blues song on the EP. I had suffered through a major bout with depression a couple of years ago. The lyrics to this song were part of my recovery. They came to me one night as I pondered whether I would keep going or just end it all. This song was a gift to me, in that it inspired me to have to put music to it and get it recorded. It was what I needed to give my life some purpose and I am grateful for that. This was the first song I ever professionally recorded. I played all the parts, as it is very personal to me.
The stripped down nature of this song is to reflect the style. It is designed to mimic a 1930's or 40's sound. The slide guitar is played on a 1929 Slingerland parlor size resonator. The vocal microphone was a modified 16 ounce Miller Lite can I bought at a cigar box guitar show. The percussion was 2 tracks of hand claps and a single track of scratching on a metal wash board with a tent stake. I love the sound of this one. I think we nailed it.
John Bair: Guitars, Vocals, Percussion
Mantra: This is the closest thing to a big production number that we did on this project. The entire piece is based around the philosophy that any movement starts small and builds to a crescendo. This song starts out with a single guitar playing campfire style. Then a single male and female vocal join in, then the rhythm section, followed by an ever increasing number of vocals and instruments. The lyrics are, as the song name implies, a mantra. They are joined by a walking guitar part that continues to the end. The final, and I think most powerful, part of the song is the human chorus. All of the instruments drop out and the only thing left are the human voices singing the mantra. This was Kevin's idea and it was a great one. Mike did a fantastic job adding voicings at the appropriate places, and Erin added a much needed harmony part at the end. With Andy delivering a solid and steady beat, the song came together even better than I had imagined. I am fortunate to have such gracious and talented people as my friends.
John Bair: Guitars, Vocals - Kevin McGovern: Bass, Vocals - Andy Desiderio: Drums - Erin Hipple: Vocals - Mike Bardzik: Vocals