Starflyer 59

Biography

You have come to expect Starflyer 59 to be the most reliable, most dependable, yet most undeniably unpredictable messengers of album after album of quality independent rock tunes. Over ten albums deep, over fifteen years time, from the early guitar-heavy shoegazing era to the ethereal moodiness of The Fashion Focus years to the latest incarnations and recreations of themselves as keyboard-driven masters of chorus, this is and always will be a band who will deliver great songs with new sounds.

But who are you going to call when you need a deeply emotional, personal album confronting loss with faith and candor? Dial M for Martin...

Jason Martin, the band’s vocalist, producer, and songwriter explains, “I always wanted to do a record of solo tracks and call it ‘Dial M for Martin.” But because this is such a candid record for me I decided to lend that idea as the title for this. I dealt with some very difficult tests when I was working on this...the loss of someone very close to me. This record deals with that loss.”

Somber, yet reflective, mournful, yet hopeful, this is Martin at his sleeve-wearing finest. Feeling speaks first here above all else, but just don’t expect him to trade songwriting or sonic surprise for sentiment. And there is more than one dose of the unexpected here: instead of any sense of drive to the guitar sounds, SF59 goes the opposite direction, which proves to be a wondrous decision; Mr. M. and company rely heavily on assorted analog keys and synths, with a sprinkling of acoustic guitar. There are even tracks without any guitar at all. Consider, The sexy swing of track number three, “Concentrate.” With a beat that you cannot help but slowly sway to, and the swagger of Jason’s sultry vocal, the point is made without the need for a six-string.

Perhaps the most noticeable aural quality of this release is the to-the-point nature of Martin’s vocal, in both performance and presentation. While many would site his vocals as more subtle in approach on previous releases, this is Martin at his most confident and most clear. His choice of melody is pinpoint, as his voice carries the music, rather than the other way around.

Though Sf59 has always been a band that is about albums, not singles, approaching songwriting from a stregth-in-numbers standpoint, there are several standout tracks that deserve first attention. “The Brightest Of The Head” is a snowy hillside stroked and brushed with echoes. “Taxi” shows a hint of Smiths throwback (but just a hint), moving through with tastefully-placed strums over a beat that pushes you forward like a cab through the urban sprawl at 3 A.M. And complemented by background the sounds of birds throughout the entire song, the ballad-like swell of Mr. Martin could even move those with hearts made of stone.

When you add in the fact that Mr. M. has produced his last several albums, including this, his latest and greatest you begin to realize he may just be one of the most underrated men in independent music, and Starflyer one of the most underrated bands.

“I don’t really have a formula. I just write songs and try to make ‘em as good as I can. And I have gotten used to self-producing. The idea of booking out 12 days in the studio where you have to get things done for better or worse, then getting home with the songs and thinking about all the things you would like to change, but knowing you cant...that’s tough. I love the idea that if I don't like something I can always go back in my place and do it until I think it is right. Everyone has limitations on what they can do, but if you find something you can do reasonably well stick with that...you gotta just do what you do, and this approach works best for me.”

When you understand the subject matter behind the lyrics to Dial M, whether you are a lifetime Starflyer fan or a newcomer, you will realize the depth of faith this record possesses. And even if you were just a moderate listener before, you may just find this becoming the soundtrack to your next trial, thanks to Mr. M. On the opening track he provides provides a shrewd insight with a double meaning: For once, or maybe twice, i was in my prime...the best are made from these. That's what I say to put my mind at ease. The saddest songs are wrote in minor keys. Like Johnny Marr I want my please please please. The brutal honesty in the album’s closer regarding the trials of the music industry should be mandatory reading for any new band: No need to remind that scans are unkind a lot of times. But i've tried, i've tried to write, what was in my head, what was in my head. Sometimes I feel, i feel so obsolete, because the kids want a faster beat. And if I was free, free to leave, but it's my kids, they need to eat. And if there was any doubt as the where Martin’s priorities lie, you can find them on “M23”: Hey man you tired? ya that's me. You look worried, well ya that's me. Is it over? Well, we'll see...
My memorial. Can I rely, can I? in the twinkling of an eye..of an eye, we'll rise. So I'll rely on Christ. in the twinkling of an eye we'll rise.

“My dad passed away last year, so this record for me is a bit more personal than my records usually are....Not that I have so much to say, but I really wanted to write some songs that had some meaning to me, and in a small way to honor my old man, who I really miss.”

Starflyer 59
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Quick Bio

You have come to expect Starflyer 59 to be the most reliable, most dependable, yet most undeniably unpredictable messengers of album after album of quality independent rock tunes. Over ten albums deep, over fifteen years time, from the early guitar-heavy shoegazing era to the ethereal moodiness of The Fashion Focus years to the latest incarnations and recreations of themselves as keyboard-driven masters of chorus, this is and always will be a band who will deliver great songs with new sounds.

Read the full Biography

Line-Up

Jason Martin