Nov 1, 2016
Flat Five are a Chicago group of amazing musicians that bring their individual influences together for a gumbo of quirky covers and originals. To quote the Facebook bio "Alex Hall, Kelly Hogan, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Nora O'Connor Kean -- separately, these folks are in-demand touring and recording musicians for bands like Neko Case, The Decemberists, NRBQ, Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Andrew Bird, J.D. McPherson, Robbie Fulks, Wanda Jackson, The Mekons, The New Pornographers, Alejandro Escovedo, and many more -- but collectively they are The FLAT FIVE Chicago -- five talented individuals who play together for the fun of it -- for the sheer joy of exploring all kinds of vocal music. Hopeless harmony junkies, all of 'em. They can't not do it. They just can't."
Their new release, in the making since 2014, is "It's a World of Love and Hope", is a perfect intro to this band. It combines influences from 60s pop, jazz, swing, country. The songs, written by Scott Ligon's brother Chris, have what the label, Bloodshot Records calls a "wide-eyed sweetness". A very apt description of these tunes that vary in genre, but have this thread running through that approaches the world with a wonderful sense of fun that reminds you of NRBQ at times, but is very much the Flat Five's vibe. The tune tunes included here, "You're Still Joe" and "Almond Grove" are examples of the diverse influences that make this wonderful album. "It's a World of Love and Hope"-maybe if we keep saying it, it will be.