Conversationalist (Night Danger)
For all its tailored complexity, symphonic nuances and thoughtful studio production, there are primitive elements on In-Flight Safety's 10-track album Conversationalist, released in September on Night Danger Records and mixed by Gus Van Go in New York (The Stills, Hollerado). The band's third record appears five years after We Are an Empire, My Dear and emerged from detailed discussions between John Mullane (vocals/guitar) and Glen Nicholson (drums) after the band's reformation in 2012. The result of careful planning is a pristine, unadulterated landscape that is rich in texture and natural in its progress. From the ambient intro "Before We Were Animals," to the energy of "Blue Flares" and synth-pop of "Stockholm," and with the orchestral closer, "Firestarters," Conversationalist has an inherent decadence that betrays its organic qualities. At times, Mullane's vocals weigh heavy on tracks that could soar; at those same times, his vocals ground what might be too flighty. Likewise, some songs can run a bit long and yet they don't get tiresome. There are dynamics on Conversationalist that speak to dialogue and there are undercurrents that push one way and then pull the next. But it's not unsettling, nor is it overwhelming. Conversationalist is an exercise in opposites, created in unison—there's a perfect harmony in its discord.
In-Flight Safety w/Mardeen, North Lakes, Wildcat
Saturday, November 22
Marquee Ballroom, 2037 Gottingen Street