The Flats is a band that combines sparkling tones with bright textures, settling them down on a pop beat and letting the music go from there. In that sense their music can be seen as expansive, like taking an bird’s eye view of a valley and seeing every detail with a new found sense of clarity. After releasing three music videos in one week, The Flats released Auburn In The Everlast in a surprising manner, with their music showcasing a growth for the group, as well as being a soothing journey. The thing that this group suffers from is having refrains and melodies that are easy to remember, feeling like the album has already been ingrained in your mind on the first listen. The record was produced by Mat Kerekes (Citizen). Chris Kerekes stopped by to share the meanings behind every song on the record, giving insight to this incredible release.
1. Electric Light
“Electric Light” was one of the earlier songs written for this release. Much like the intent behind some of the other songs, the idea was to capture this new and energized feeling I was having. I was and still am moving away from some negative things that have been troublesome to me in the past. As opposed to simply describing those feelings, I wanted to try and write something you could visualize. That’s where the idea of the lyrics “it’s on my fingertips” came from and I just kind of went from there. Electric light went through the most changes during production, at least 3 or 4 big structural changes. In fact, my brother and I had just got done tracking vocals and were done with the song, when I told him that I just didn’t like how the song started. The beginning originally started with the chorus. I also didn’t like that the song lacked a bridge melody. My brother Mat came up with the idea to do the “ahh’s” over the chorus chords as the bridge and then I suggested that the song should start like that. We moved some stuff around and tracked the “ahhs” and we were finally satisfied.
“Transparent” was the first song written for this release and lyrically touches on what most of the EP is about. “Transparent” was written almost immediately after I wrote a song called “machinery” that we released back in February of 2016 as a split with the band Secret Space. Essentially, machinery was about the chaos that I felt my life was at the time (for multiple different reasons), and transparent was the transition away from that chaos. Recording transparent was probably the easiest of the bunch, it pretty much stayed exactly the same as the demo, just a few added leads and melody adjustments.
3. Finite Waste
“Finite Waste” is my personal favorite of the songs. I say that in terms of the way it turned out and what the song means to me. It was written in the dormer area of a house i was flipping. We had just put carpeting down and got my bed into place and all I wanted to do was hang out up there. I would sit on the carpet in the corner and attempt to write songs and it is where I wrote finite. Lyrically, I wrote the song about removing clutter from my life. That clutter came in many forms; different people, places and things. As dumb as it sounds, “Finite Waste” is literally intended to say “limit the garbage” in your life. It also touches on a reoccurring theme throughout the EP of being deceived by someone you trusted. The song is very personal to me and some of the specifics behind the lyrics I do not feel are appropriate to share, but I believed it fit the theme of moving away from negativity and on to positivity.
4. Unviable In Your World
“Unviable In Your World” was the last song written for this release. Our guitarist Josh is an excellent songwriter and he sent the instrumental to our band feed. I listened to it and immediately wanted to write lyrics and melodies and potentially use it for the EP. After sending some voice memos back and forth and solidifying the melodies we decided that we were happy with the way it was sounding and the overall feel to it. Unviable is a song about someone not being who they say they are, thinking they are superior and having a voice but guiding people down a poor path. Lyrically it is very similar to “Finite Waste” in the sense that it acknowledges this deception, however it is more pessimistic than finite.
5. Is The War Worth The Cost
“Is The War Worth The Cost” was written during the Bernie Sanders mania that my life had become during the beginning parts of 2016. Like many, I was “feeling the bern” and had become more actively engaged in politics than I had been prior. This song was another Josh instrumental. I asked Josh to try and send me a few piano lines that we could possibly use for a short hidden track/ bonus track type of song. We ended up expanding on the song and using it as a main track. This song is my first attempt at something political in music. I think that no matter what you believe, whether you are liberal or conservative etc, we all know the real cost of war and that is real- innocent human life. And in the end, when you look at it simply from that perspective; there are no winners, winning becomes irrelevant because everyone inevitably loses. That’s the jist of what I was trying to say.
6. Purple Eyes
“Purple eyes,” from the most generalized standpoint, is a song about things not always being what they seem. “Hospice” was originally what the song was titled when josh sent it to me as an instrumental and it is inspired lyrically by that title and a conversation that Josh and I had in relation. The ending of the track was inspired by some parts in my brothers band Citizen’s newest release Everybody Is Going To Heaven. I love so much about that record and I love all the interesting noises they made with there instruments in parts and the feeling that those parts gave me. We felt that doing something like that would be a good way to close the EP and would really fit with the vibe of this song.