Starflyer 59: Fell in Love at 22 ep (Tooth and Nail, 1998)

by Brent

Starflyer 59 Fell in Love at 22I was recently listening to this ep, and just had to review it now, even though I’ve already reviewed “silver” by the same group. This ep, released during the Fashion Focus era of SF59, displays SF59 at perhaps their very best. Which is strange, because most of the songs are extremely mellow. Those who have followed SF59‘s career since they burst onto the scene with their debut know that SF59 became synonymous with a wall-of- guitar shoegaze sensibility. Yet, Fell in Love at 22 displays the band going through a whole release without resorting to that sound, for the first time. The 5 songs on this ep are mellow, soothing shoegaze, slow enough to be liked by fans of the slocore genre. The cd starts out with the title track, taken from the Fashion Focus full-length. Taken by itself, it is a decent song, well-written and well-played. But it’s the rest of the ep that really steals the show. “Ep nights”, features a chorus that soaks in the residue of the wall-of-guitar sound that SF59 was known for, and contains lyrics full of longing :”these are the nights, when nothing’s gonna break me more, Jesus please come soon, this afternoon”. I admit that “ep nights” is my fave song of the ep, but what follows another display of amazing talent. “Traffic jam” is an instrumental, long, and intricate song that, in the minds of many SF59 fans, is the band’s crowning achievement. On the surface, the song is a brooding instrumental, with the melody repeating itself. But, upon a closer listen, one hears helicopters, as well as other “traffic sounds”, buried deep into the mix. The 7 minute songs leaves the listener wanting more, a telling fact for a 7 minute instrumental! The other two songs on the ep are also beautifully sensitive, and complete this ep nicely. Get it while it is still on sale at tooth and nail…it really is shoegaze perfection.

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