The Flute Flies (featuring members of Schooner and The Rosebuds) offer full-length debut
For pop-rock fans plugged into the Triangle music scene, The Flute Flies are something approaching a supergroup. A trio consisting of Rosebud Ivan Howard, Schooner singer and guitarist Reid Johnson and Zeno Gill, veteran of The Sames and Pound of Flesh and the owner of Durham’s Pox World Empire, the Flies began as a one-off project for charity four years ago. Triangle music super-fan Cy Rawls had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and various musicians were gathering to help out with a series of benefits. One effort was CyTunes, a web store set up to benefit Rawls’ care. And although Rawls passed 10 weeks after his diagnosis, CyTunes survives, donating its profits to Duke University’s Tisch Brain Tumor Center, where Rawls was treated.
The Flute Flies produced three tracks for the site, each member penning one song to record, but their collaborative energy was far from expended. Earlier this week, the band debuted a Bandcamp page with an album entitled Yes Means Maybe, a 12-song LP (streaming below) that’s available for pay-what-you-will download. All proceeds will go to CyTunes to help in the fight against cancer. Limited physical copies have made their way into local record stores, as well.
“We donated the first three songs to CyTunes.org, and people seemed to enjoy them,” reads a statement on The Flute Flies’ website. “Then, because the process of writing and recording the songs together was so fun, meaningful, and rewarding, we decided to write and record an entire record of Flute Flies songs in honor of Cy and to contribute any and all profits from the sales of the songs directly to the fight against cancer.”
The album is more absorbing and cohesive than its side-project origins would suggest. Combining the swaying swagger of Schooner’s blue-eyed pop with the nimble hooks of The Rosebuds’ potent rave-ups, Yes Means Maybe is a patient and enchanting pop exercise, taking its time to make sure every catchy melody leaves its mark. Indeed, it’s such a rewarding record that it’s hard not to feel guilty about downloading it for free. As the money is going to a good cause, I suggest you pony up some cash and allay that gnawing feeling before it starts. —Jordan Lawrence