Single: Flying Raccoon Suit – Sunflower

With Flying Raccoon Suit’s Moonflower album only a week away (due out November 3rd) they decided to drop their third promotional single and video, and to the surprise of absolutely nobody who has been paying attention, it’s another absolutely amazing track. This is shaping up to be one of my favorite albums of the year. These three songs are all vastly different, highlighting the broad diversity of sounds and influences, all while showing off the incredible talent that they have.

“Sunflower” comes in with with a simple bass line and drum rhythm before being joined in with a guitar before the horns join for a few passes before dropping into a standard ska riff and Jessica Jeansonne’s vocals pick up the track. This is easily the most traditional ska-punk rhythm we’ve heard on the three singles, but the vocals are too melodic for third-wave ska, and the layered backing vocals add textures that just weren’t present in the 90s ska. The horns add complexity and the song continues to build and develop through the track even as we are still layering the verses over simple upstrokes and ska rhythms. The keys are subtle and adds textures, much like the backing vocals, easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention.

“Sunflower”, as a song title, fits nicely against the album title of Moonflower, and I assume there is a reason for that to be more thoroughly explored once the full 6album is released. Lyrically, “Sunflower” is about learning to face your insecurities, trying to let your past rot away, and moving forward to grow and face new challenges- but it feels like there is a trepidation about the future and a difficulty in releasing the problems of the past. It feels to me like the song is about knowing it’s time to move on, but being afraid to step out and grow. 

The trumpet in the bridge comes in from a stripped-down rhythm and leads the way through a delicate melody that builds with the song as we connect back to the sing-along chorus and the action rises throughout as the band expertly adds tension through the music. The final chorus, dominated with Jeansonne’s vocals, but accompanied by several members backing vocals begs for crowd participation and makes even the most casual listener want to sing along before the music resolves and Jeansonne is left alone to sing the last pass of the chorus about the problems she has to “face so well”.

The video can be found here, and you can pre-order Moonflower here.

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Written by Gimpleg