It’s a story that’s definitely familiar; a damaged, musically talented man shuts himself away in a cabin or record studio and makes an album for the ages.
Justin Vernon did it with Bon Iver and For Emma, Forever Ago, and now Josh Scott has done in his début record under the name Aero Flynn. Recorded in Vernon’s cabin in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and an old friend of Vernon, the story of how the album came to be is almost as intoxicating as the album itself.
On Aero Flynn’s website, there is a letter of sorts to Scott, written by Field Report frontman Christopher Porterfield that details, in brutal honesty, Scott’s troubles with depression, physical illness and a reluctance to embrace the talent that lay within him. It seems unthinkable then that the result of such hurt and pain could eventually turn into an album of any worth. If you agree with that, you’re wrong.
This album is simply one of the best pieces of music to come out America in years. It’s a busy, tactile and urgent album of stunning complexity that fuzzes away at the ears song after song. The lead single, “Dk/Pi” is just the very beginning of beautifully worked synth and drums alongside hauntingly honest vocals.
It’s not just a one off though, each song off this album is a masterpiece in its own right. “Crisp” sounds like the result of Radiohead and Volcano Choir getting stuck in a room together, “Floating” is a seven minute epic of syncopated piano, synth and guitar over a thumping drum track.
It’s an album with such an impressive musical narrative to it that you become lost in its urgency until the last song which slows down to a more relaxed appreciation. Relaxed appreciation is not the point of this album. It’s there to symbolise missed opportunities, undervalued relationships and forgotten friends.
It is a truly stunning album, which must mean only one thing, that there really must be something in the water up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.