Flying Scroll Flight Control

Flying Scroll Flight Control

by Half-Handed Cloud


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John Ringhofer, the brain behind Half-Handed Cloud's joyfully slight songcraft, found a voice for his Christian message over the course of multiple albums of homespun twee pop that often flies by in strings of whimsical one-minute songs. Flying Scroll Flight Control is the sixth full-length from Half-Handed Cloud, and it follows the same path of sweetly humble indie-bred chamber pop that other albums have had, recorded in full on an analog 16-track tape machine, resulting in a slightly more organic sound. Ringhofer recorded the album in the Berkeley, California church where he lived rent-free in return for custodial services over the course of many months, and the album crackles with meticulously placed detail. The opening suite of songs "Pneumatic Mystery Envelopes," "Sensei Says," and "What Spins, by Your Hand Was Spun" blurs into a micro-epic of endless changes in sound, with Mellotrons, tape manipulation, guitars, flutes, organs, and choruses of voices supporting Ringhofer's high nasal lead vocals in a happy wash of sound. Much of Flying Scroll Flight Control washes past in this manner, with many of the 18 songs zooming by in less than a minute and none of them going past the three-minute mark. This beautifully arranged collage for dangerously short attention spans is matched with lyrics singing the praises of Jesus and devotion to the Christian religion. The muted analog production meeting with cartoonish arrangements and religious sentiments leave the album feeling like some kind of pleasant soundtrack to a Christian summer camp where Van Dyke Parks and Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes are the counselors. The album finds a rocking high point in "Festus, I Am Not Out of My Mind," a 46-second song with a melody that recalls both the fuzzy, unbridled joy of the Unicorns and the vocal arrangements of Sufjan Stevens, who contributes heavily as a multi-instrumentalist throughout the album.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2014
Label: Asthmatic Kitty
UPC: 0656605612126
catalogNumber: 56121
Rank: 228827

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Half-Handed Cloud   Primary Artist
Sufjan Stevens   Synthesizer,Flute,Percussion,Celeste,Recorder,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
John Ringhofer   Banjo,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Autoharp,Glockenspiel,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Stick,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Omnichord,Fuzz Bass,Stylophone,Tremolo,Train Whistle,Box
Brandon Buckner   Drums
Sonja van Hamel   Vocal Harmony
Wendy Campbell   Choir, Chorus
Thera Ringhofer   Choir, Chorus
Suzie Shin   Choir, Chorus
Kathryn Gärlick   Cello
Karen Grutter   Clarinet,Choir, Chorus
Elaine Yau   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Sufjan Stevens   overdub engineer
John Ringhofer   Arranger,Composer,Engineer,Artwork,Field Recording,Whistle
Brandon Buckner   Drum Engineering

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