Flat Land plays its last show tonight (Thursday, June 9) at the Ringside… before embarking on their 18-date tour in support of their brand new album, Arrow to the Sun. The official release date for the physical album is July 8th, but you can download it immediately by supporting the band’s Kickstarter campaign. Online message from Flat Land:
“We are so pleased to announce the Arrow to the Sun album release tour! Thank you to Tony Tyler Productions and Swamp Records for all their hard work in making this possible.”
The Gainesville quintet has been exciting crowds everywhere they go, from Hulaween and Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival to Purple Hatter’s Ball and Earthdance Florida. They have toured the Southeast, and this new tour takes them as far as Pennsylvania. It starts with a special show next Friday, June 17, at Harmonious Monks in Jacksonville and includes their third appearance at Purple Hatter’s Ball at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (Sunday, June 19).
From there, the band heads to the Jibberjazz Madsummer Meltdown in Schuylkill Haven PA on June 25. They have eight shows in North Carolina and also visit Tennessee and Georgia along the way.
Flat Land are: Fae Nageon De Lestang (Fae Nae), vocals, violin; Christopher Storey, guitar; Grant McLeod, drums; Ian McLeod, percussion; and Brandon Miller, bass. They cannot decide whether they play ‘Cosmifunkpop’ or ‘Ethereal Funk Fusion!’ Both descriptions work. The group started as a quartet, but they expanded to five with the addition of Grant’s brother on percussion. Ian leads his own superb jazz ensemble Ism on vibes. The band also had several bass players before settling on Miller, formerly of Ancient Sun.
Flat Land’s recent performances have been excellent. They truly impressed at Hulaween and at Okeechobee. They delivered a tremendous set at WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave, then another at Orange Blossom Jamboree, and one even better at Skipper’s Smokehouse with Boxcar Hollow. That show found Juanjamon sitting in with Flat Land for several numbers, then Fae Nae on stage with Boxcar Hollow for the end of their set.
It is easy to focus first on Fae Nae. She wears incredible outfits, sings in a unique and riveting style, and plays a world of violin (or fiddle — you pick). Chris Storey is an amazing guitar player who shreds with abandon and abuses his wah-wah pedal something fierce. The McLeods power every set, and the addition of Ian has provided them a great Latin flair. But Brandon Miller may be the unsung hero. His work intertwining with the percussion has been superb.
The majority of their sets are originals, but they play some amazing covers as well, including “Tax Man” (the Beatles), “Ramble On” (Led Zeppelin), and “Kiss” (Prince).
MusicFestNews ran a feature on the band a year ago which you can read here, although so much has happened since then. We will provide an in-depth review of Arrow to the Sun shortly, but a quick listen confirms what we expected: it’s magnificent!