glow in the dark flowers
Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Lesicko have been writing, performing, and recording music together longer than they haven’t been. Glow In The Dark Flowers the newest installation of their creative practice. Their self-titled LP, out this April via Born Yesterday Records, is a testament to the duo’s unique and restless drive for creation.
Jessee and Philip started playing in bands together in Chicago in the late 00’s. Over the years, their musical practices have had many iterations and lineups, but a deep creative drive has always remained at their core. The two have been dubbed "Artist's Artists" by their friends, and their collective discography is vast, with many records, zines, and tapes released under their record label Manic Static. Notably, the scuzzy aesthetic and breezy melodic sensibility of their band The Funs has left an imprint on Chicago’s music scene that can be heard in contemporary bands like Dehd, Lala Lala, and Melkbelly.
In 2012, the two moved to an abandoned funeral home in rural southern Illinois where they founded Rose Raft, an artist residency and analog recording studio. This was done in part to alleviate the financial stress of being an artist in an expensive city, and it has allowed them to remain totally immersed in their craft, not unlike Dead Moon or Low.
“The biggest reason we were motivated to make our own studio is that it was the only conceivable way we could keep things going. We started as a band so trashy and raw and ‘low-fi’ is because that’s what we had access to.” says Jessee. The studio is all analog, and the pair has once again found how to find freedom in constraint, using the limitations of the process to think creatively and to inform their songwriting. Tracked entirely live, the new record celebrates the magic and physicality of analog recording, leaving in raw sounds and charming artifacts, like their dogs Junimo and Joja Cola barking at the tail of the keeper take of “Velvet Cash”.
Glow in the Dark Flowers finds Philip and Jessee reinventing their sound with maturity, grace, and poeticism, but without abandoning the fuzzed out sound and studio adventurousness of their earlier work. The album's intimate opener “Growing Cosmos” is propelled by an unquantized drum machine that stutters in and out of tempo, accompanied by enveloping hard-panned bass guitar. “Still Close To Me” recalls the duo’s effortless and hypnotic pop sensibility that made The Funs such a captivating live band in Chicago’s then thriving DIY scene. The albums closer “When The Leaves Have Fallen”, originally composed for a performance by the artist Lise Haller Baggesen, continually builds on its original theme until the drums drift out and gives way to cascading distorted guitars folding in on each other.
The band's new album represents a new level of their devoted partnership that continually produces raw and beautiful music. Glow in the Dark Flowers is a true representation of their passion and dedication to their drive for creation.