Rapidly securing their place as one of the more interesting reissue labels setting up camp in the last few years, L.A.’s Forager came out strong with a comp that laid out their aesthetic — windswept ‘70s Americana with touches of loner country, culling from some overlooked corners of the Midwest. They follow strong on that opening salvo, fighting the urge to expand on one of the artists from Belong To The Wind and shining a light on the tender shades of lost Michigan folk-rock duo Flight. With a dusting blue collar country and an affecting vulnerability, the pair recorded eight tracks that were equally indebted to pensive turtleneck rock of Simon and Garfunkel as it was to more tarnished souls like Lightfoot, Kristofferson, and other obscurities like Kenny Knight. There’s even a more straight-forward kinship with the partnership of Peter Howell & John Ferdinando, taking a much less psychedelic journey than that pair but finding themselves enamored with many of the same autumnal hues.
While Michigan has its pockets of influence, especially in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they most certainly were not centered in the Northern confines of Grayling, a town that currently sits just shy of 1900 people. Hell I’m from the state and I had to look the town up just to place it, having never wandered through it, or if so, never having given it a second thought until now. Sometimes, though, the isolation creates its own kind of crucible, and the imperfect flutter of Flight’s songs reflect the pair’s distance from any notion of making music outside of feeling the need to knit emotion to tape. The label has mad a habit of not only digging up a few gems, but also enlisting some excellent new design names as well, dressing this one up in dreamy illustrations by L.A. tattoo artist Niko Bianco. That crisp air is begging for this one on the upholstered speakers, and I’d keep an eye at Forage for what they dig up next.
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