This Would Be Funny If It Were Happening To Anyone But Me
When I listen to this debut EP from flirting, I get the feeling that I could be in the audience of some neurotic abstract five act play. I imagine different people on stage each performing their own separate yet deeply intertwined monologues, each lit by a different colored spotlight. This is completely unfair, because if you’re anything like me, this description sounds like an evening in hell. However, I really like what flirting is offering despite the strange performance art visions this collection generates in my limited mind.
Flirting’s debut single, “Wouldn’t You,” from 2016 is much different with its dreamy and hazy atmosphere, while this new EP is much more spiky and unusual. This would be Funny reminds me of 90s Aussie’s Frente! if they had written songs full of confused disaffection instead of sunshine and happiness. There is a similar LIFE to these five songs though, despite the difference in subject matter.
The EP starts off with “Yum,” which is a bit schizophrenic. There are many parts to this epic song. A quiet guitar intro, alternating verses of anxiety-ridden spoken word from both male and female perspectives, culminating with both voices at the same time. It is really a mess and yet it is quite intriguing. What the song lacks in hooks, it makes up for with its inherent identifiable drama. It’s exciting! “Peppermint,” the single, on the other hand, is a very catchy number - still infused with some unexpected peaks and valleys that are very much unique to this band. It is also a simultaneously defiant and kind break-up song between two people with differing mindsets regarding their relationship.
The melancholic (and musically dreamy) “Lilac” is a beautiful song that perfectly captures the loneliness and feeling of impending madness from insomnia and the resulting inability to seek help in those desperate moments (“It’s 3 AM/, though won’t you pick up the phone/ and tell me/ it’s all in my mind”). The closing song, “In the Dark,” meanwhile, manages to brew up some serious menace.
To be honest, this is one of the more difficult releases I’ve attempted to write about over the years. I really like these songs and the potential of flirting going forward, but they are damn difficult to describe. They tap into that part of my brain that loves The Sundays, Standard Fare, and the afore-mentioned Frente! – all bands that flirting’s sound can hint at, yet they are nothing like any of them. What I do know is that I identify with these songs. They speak to me. See if they speak to you too.