Mike Gordon has announced his new solo album, Flying Games, arriving via ATO Records/Megaplum on Friday, May 12. Pre-orders are available now. Produced by Gordon, recorded by longtime collaborator Jared Slomoff, and mixed by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs), Flying Games is heralded by today’s premiere of the high velocity new single, “Tilting,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services. An official animated video premieres today via YouTube.
“For me ‘Tilting’ is about being in a situation or a relationship where you don’t know if your footing is solid,” says Mike Gordon, “but then accepting that and realizing you enjoy the feeling of disorientation. Whether it’s playing music or driving or experiencing something new, I’ve always felt more present when I don’t know where I’m going next.”
The bassist and co-founder of the seminal improvisational American rock band Phish, Gordon will celebrate Flying Games with a wide-ranging live run that includes both headline shows and top-billed festival performances. Dates get underway June 15 at Portland, ME’s State Theatre and then culminating with a home state tour finale at Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground Ballroom on July 2. Tickets for all newly announced headline dates go on sale Friday, March 17. Pre-sales are available now. For complete details and ticket information, please visit mike-gordon.com/tour.
The sixth solo LP from Mike Gordon, Flying Games is an album of constant and wildly hypnotic movement, each moment animated by unexpected sounds that morph and expand and spin off into their own strange orbits. In keeping with the eclectic sensibilities that informed past work like 2017’s pop-fueled OGOGO and 2020’s Noon (a collaborative album made with acoustic guitar luminary Leo Kottke), the new LP imbues elements of everything from disco and dancehall to psych-folk and funk into Gordon’s unfettered and expansive breed of rock music. To create such a mesmerizing body of work, the Vermont-based musician spent long months – including much of 2020’s lockdown – writing and recording in his makeshift Megaplum home studio, immersing himself in sonic experiments ranging from the playfully spontaneous (constructing beats by banging wrenches against various pieces of farming equipment) to the hyper-specific and technical (programming a keyboard with chords sampled from’50s-era Hawaiian guitar records). As the songs became more fully formed, Gordon brought in contributions from his bandmates, drummer John Kimock, keyboardist Robert Walter, percussionist Craig Myers, and guitarist/pedal-steel player Scott Murawski, all of whom submitted parts from afar which were then woven by Gordon and Slomoff into the initial tracks. Revealing entirely new dimensions of the kaleidoscopic musicianship Gordon has displayed as Phish’s bassist for the last four decades, the result is a work of both extraordinary vision and daring execution.
“As someone who comes from a world of telepathic improvisation, the idea of one person layering sounds alone in a room might seem a bit against the mythos,” says Gordon. “But with this record I didn’t want to work in that traditional way of going into a studio with a band and recording for two weeks; I wanted to take my time and explore, and really go deep into the fabric of the music to see what we could find.”
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