This guest post is written by Daniel Hagerman, a thriving writer and musician based in Spartanburg. He has been a regular contributor to a number of local media projects, including Spartanburg Spark and Flying Oskar.
The Smoky Mountains are historically riddled with amazing folk, Americana and bluegrass musicians. Although inspired by these local styles, Black Mountain’s Floating Action are hardly tucked in any comfortable niche. Which is a good thing because if I hear anymore regurgitated sounds from the South I’m going to vomit.
Among the rubble of dismal racket and meticulously named sub-genres, it can be sometimes difficult to find anything local and decent to latch onto. This is not the case with Floating Action.
Seth Kauffman’s songwriting and witty lyrics, matched with an abundance of guitar chops and an uncanny ability to find three equally talented musicians, makes Floating Action seemingly unstoppable. By appropriately blending a bounty of great musical stylings, Floating Action have secured themselves an elegant position among southern music royalty.
Their latest album Desert Etiquette (recorded by Band of Horses bassist Bill Reynolds) is a leap away from a typical Floating Action album. Well, if anything they did was at all predictable. Desert Etiquette seems a tad stripped down and basic in comparison to their past releases. However, it only seems that way. Hidden among simplicity they have intricately arranged ten fantastic tracks. Every member of the band sings, masterfully at that, and atop all their harmonious juice they have placed well written parts in all of the right places. This is not one to be missed.
Floating Action’s self-titled album features a bonus cd of dub remixes that are proportionately intriguing. While dub and reggae can sometimes be off-putting when played by Americans, Floating Action will irreversibly change your perspective with ‘Floating Version’.
I really want to tread lightly and not ruin anything for the first time listener. I strongly suggest picking up the aforementioned albums and listening to them in their entirety (under the influence if you would like) and then running out to their next show promptly after. Actually, I don’t think there are any wrong ways to experience Floating Action for the first time. They’re level 7, which is the highest level, in case you didn’t know.