Boston indie rock outfit The Q-Tip Bandits are thrilled to share their new album Melancholy Flowers, available wherever music is streamed or sold. The album’s release follows the release of singles “Better Place”, “Chasing Cars” and “Daisy”.
Melancholy Flowers further solidifies The Q-Tip Bandits’ unique realm within the indie pop / indie rock world, with Hoyt Parquet (Trombone) Maclin Tucker (Trumpet) and drummer Dakota Maykrantz demonstrating how their presence helps bring a much needed sense of energy and propulsion to these otherwise dreamy and atmospheric pop tunes lead by co-lead vocalists Leo Son and Claire Davis. By marrying an uplifting, soulful-indie pop vibe with deep, introspective lyrics, the group shows off their songwriting talent without sacrificing the rhythm and the sense of joyful creativity that runs throughout their music. The results are a smooth yet powerful sound backed by the raw energy of rock and the coolness and colors of R&B and funk — with palpable grooves coated with savory, soul-inspired riffs, and anthemic horns.
You may not initially clock The Red Hot Chili Peppers as an influence, but the band considers them a sort of spiritual inspiration. As guitarist / vocalist Leo puts it: “Although our music doesn’t reflect their sound very much, I think their live energy and stage presence shaped the way the 3 of us present ourselves on stage, as well as the infectious and unabashed love and passion for music that the members of RHCP exude, which is the same energy that we try to carry into what we do.”
During the recording process of the album, the idea that true deep happiness comes from and finds its partner in deep sadness came to life. The Q-Tip Bandits have written a number of songs off this album that are either upbeat in tempo or peppy in melody and harmony while at the same time carrying lyrics that are meaningful to them. The result of this apparent contradiction was an album full of music people can dance to and cry to, as well as happy music for hurting people.
In search of lyrical inspiration, The Q-Tip Bandits reflected on their personal histories. “In my case, many of the lyrical concepts came from observations made during my early recovery (from drug and alcohol abuse) of myself, my new friends in recovery and my childhood friends who remain/are still caught in their addictive lifestyles. Witnessing the paradoxical nature of growth, the idea that feeling necessary pain/discomfort (two things we desperately try to avoid at times) are the only way to contentment and peace.” says Leo.
The band’s other lead vocalist and bassist Claire Davis found inspiration in a variety of relationships throughout her life. Those include people she’s hurt, people she’s been hurt by, people who have helped her grow, and people she wishes she could have done the same for. In describing her lyrical inspiration, Claire says: “Each song represents a different character in my mind, whether it’s the person the song is about or the person I was at the time of a pivotal point in the relationship. The artwork for the album also reflects this, with each song represented by a character holding a flower. Regardless of how these songs began, they have each developed into their own character, and I hope that people can find themselves and their own relationships with the world in the lyrics of these songs.”
The album’s title, Melancholy Flowers, was inspired by a play on words. During the recording process of this album, the group joked about stories from their youth about confusing cauliflower with melancholy. They began laughing about what a “Melon Cauliflower” would look like, and then something clicked and the thought became “what would a melancholy flower look like?”.”
From there, the image of funeral flowers gradually emerged to answer the question,”What is a Melancholy Flower?”. This brought The Q-Tip Bandits back to the idea of the beauty that can be found in discomfort or pain. Amongst mourning and grief, there are beautiful splashes of color and life; the idea that deep happiness can only be felt when one knows deep sadness, and deep sadness can only be felt when one knows deep happiness. “I hope that in a world of chaos, grief, and pain, we can create something that brings a splash of color and life, not by ignoring suffering but by embracing it.” says Claire.
The songs on this record, with the exception of the instrumental outro, were written anywhere from 2-5 years ago and have continued to evolve and grow as the group explored them as a band. The outro was written in the last few months prior to the album’s release.
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