By Derek Lynch
Aero Flynn is the newest emergence out of camp Bon Iver, a group that’s already found success with Field Report, Megafaun, Peter Wolf Crier, S. Carey, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. as well as any record Justin Vernon produces, contributes to, or so much as lays a finger on. Frontman Josh Scott was a part of the Eau Claire scene back in the ‘06-’07 era with his band Amatuer Love, finding regional success and rubbing shoulders with Vernon and Co. Aero Flynn comes from a seven-year hiatus in songwriting, during which time Scott lay low, having been diagnosed with autoimmune disease and depression.
“Plates2,” the opening track, begins as a whisper. Soft acoustic guitar strings pluck out a simple rhythm while Scott’s falsetto floats above. The song opens up as Scott’s band is introduced, and we hear syncopated drums, a lap pedal steel guitar, and a high, whining string section. This is freak folk at its finest. Scott was lent a hand in production by both Vernon and Sean Carey, whose fingerprints can be heard throughout the album.
The group’s most popular single, “Dk/Pi,” couldn’t possibly be more of a stark contrast. This time, Scott is joined by a wash of synths and ambience. It’s -almost- more Flock of Seagulls than Elliot Smith. When the body of the song is over, we’re left with a tail of noise-echoes and static and too much gain-before fading out and returning to acoustic sonority in the opening notes of “Crisp.”
This melding of folk and electronica occurs to some extent on every song on the album, and never once does it sound out of place. Somber French horns and vocoded vocal layers feel right at home next to each other in “Trees.” In one of the closing songs of the album, “Brand New,” Scott takes his time, meditating on a theme and building up lush layers of sound, before returning to a whisper in the final track, “Moonbeams.” The result is gorgeous, introspective, and vast.
Aero Flynn will be performing at Eaux Claires in July. None of these words can do the music justice-it needs to be experienced.