Artist Interview: Flower Language

Posted: by The Editor

Three years ago in February of 2020, the initial idea for what would become the alternative rock/shoegaze trio of Flower Language was set in motion. Based out of Denver, Colorado, the band is made up of Walker Franck (vocals / guitar), Kyle Goldsberry (guitar), and Evan Logan (drums) and in the summer of 2020, they began writing their first EP Dreams in a Different Place. Released in August 2021, the EP was mixed, mastered, and recorded by fellow Denver artist Corey Coffman (Gleemer) and featured three songs that melded massive grunge tones with a morose undercurrent that’s comparable to bands like Downward, Superheaven, or Keep. Tomorrow, the band returns with their debut full length album Thrown Into Air and I spoke with Walker Franck about it.

Over the last few years, the band have grown into their songwriting capabilities as they set out to write their debut album and were better able to fully execute their ideas. Franck shares how the last few years shaped the album, “I think I can speak for the three of us and say that the last few years have been some of the most creatively transitional points of our lives. For me personally, my writing style and the way I view songwriting now is entirely different than it was 3 years ago in the ways that I pursue ideas and in the ways that I discuss those ideas with the band. I sometimes struggled with explaining what I was hearing/wanting to hear and that led to internal frustrations that would take away from the energy I needed and wanted to have while writing music. Whenever we were tracking the EP, there were a lot of moments where I felt like we could have done more or added to the project, but we weren’t at that point as artists to execute some of those ideas. We’ve all grown together in that process and I feel like we’re in the best spot we’ve ever been in — as friends and bandmates.”

Having previously worked with Coffman on their EP, the band knew they wanted to recruit him once again to help them craft the album. “Corey works out of northern Colorado, so we were able to schedule out the sessions and weren’t forced to try and knock it all out at one time. All of our schedules were pretty hectic at the time, so we were fortunate to all live relatively close to one another,” Franck says of the recording sessions. “Corey is the man. Not only is he someone who cares about the music he’s a part of, he’s someone that in every aspect of what he does — wants to help artists create whatever it is they’re wanting to create. I’m forever grateful that he was willing to be a part of this record with us. Truly life changing,” Franck says of Coffman.

One of the most notable things about Denver as a listener is the community that surrounds it. With Coffman’s own band Gleemer based out of Denver, his work as a producer has also shed light on local artists like Flower Language, Warper, and Seer Believer as well as numerous other bands across the country like Prize Horse, Ridgeway, or cursetheknife. On what the scene in Denver is specifically like Franck shares, “Denver has one of the best music scenes in the world. It’s full of people pushing boundaries and creating some of the more intentional and thought out music that’s coming out at the moment. I truly believe we’ll look back on what’s currently happening in Denver 20 years from now and it’s going to be hard to put into words. I also feel like that all applies to dozens of other scenes right now as 2023 has been a beautiful year for music.”

Earlier this summer Flower Language released a one-off darkly ethereal single “Heavy On Me” (produced, mixed, and mastered by Zac Montez of Time Well Recordings) that teased their subsequent releases “Candles” and “Infinite” which are the opening tracks on the album. The towering tracks hover over Franck’s heavy-laden vocals as the rest of Thrown Into Air thoughtfully traverses between the external weight of consciousness and the pensive spaces of introspection. There are moments of ascension sprinkled throughout the album in contrast to the cavernous spaces that reverberate with Flower Language’s soft grunge / alternative rock soul baring melodies as it reaches its apex in the middle with “Echoes of the Natural World.” The album picks the pace back up by the last two tracks as it closes out with “Inhale,” a straight rock track directly inspired by Swervedriver’s “Blowin’ Cool.” “I was on a flight back to Denver and that song came on while I was shuffling through music, and it straight up took me to another planet. I’ve listened to that whole record probably 100 times in my life, but for some reason that song rocked my world in that moment. As soon as I landed, I called Kyle and was like ‘We gotta write something that has that vibe’ and I’m pretty sure we started working on it that same night,” Franck says of the closing track that’s explicitly “for fans of rocking the fuck out.”

In each Flower Language release, there has been a heavy emphasis on blue tones for the artwork. Franck tells me the conscious decision behind the choice, “I believe there is a lot more to color (in regards to cover art and any artwork that goes along with music) than most people give them credit for. There’s a real psychological effect that colors can have on us, and I encourage anyone reading this to look into it. The color blue leans towards depth and comfort, and that is something I want to always visually convey with this music. With that all being said, I also think it’s very important to let the music speak for itself, but artwork is always an added bonus to the whole piece of art. The artwork for this record is of a photo that I took of my girlfriend while we were on vacation in Southern California visiting El Matador Beach. The camera I was using was on its last leg, so all of the photos from that roll of film were kinda fucked up and distorted looking. I took a few other photos that I had taken and then layered them together. Messed around with color a little bit and the final artwork is what came out of it.”

Though the title of the album had initially been chosen out of mere convenience for both Franck and Goldsberry, it has grown to mean a bit more to Franck in time. “Thrown Into Air is something that I had written down in a journal from years back. It had to do with something along the lines of figuring out what emotions were things that I should ‘throw into the air.’ That meaning — what I should say out loud and talk through vs. what I should keep to myself,” Franck says of the title.

On what Franck hopes listeners take from the album, he says “I hope that anyone who listens to it gives it an honest chance to let it take them somewhere. There’s a weird thing that can happen whenever we open ourselves up to music and we allow ourselves to become vulnerable to what it has to offer. Sure, that’s different for everyone, but there are parts of this record that have that capability. It’s up to the listener to figure out what and where that might be. And if you think everything I just said isn’t really what you’re looking for from music at the moment, listen to ‘Candles’ in your car on 10 and rock the hell out. That’s the only way that song should be listened to.”

Thrown Into Air is available on streaming platforms everywhere tomorrow.

Loan Pham | @x_loanp

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