Fly Pan Am – Frontera

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Album cover for Fly Pan Am "Frontera"

As I’ve gotten older, two things I look for in an album are consistency and flow. I don’t mind if a record takes me on a roller coaster ride or a slow walk around a dark neighborhood late at night, as long as the songs fit together as part of a greater whole.

The songs on Frontera fit together. Yes, it feels like a soundtrack (it’s the musical accompaniment to a work by the Montreal-based dance company Animals of Distinction) but the music stands on its own without the movement and lights of the show. The pacing works well, with long periods of intense energy followed by pauses where you can recover while still being nudged forward on the journey.

There are a few moments where the band comes dangerously close to nostalgically recreating early ‘90s shoegaze and industrial, but they find their way back to the dark tension that defines the theme of this music. The repetitive structures and mostly instrumental ebbs and flows allow the album to sit in the background, but there are surprises and a hypnotic depth that hold up to focused listening.

Released: May 21, 2021

About Chuck

Chuck is a lifelong music lover. He spent his 20s working as a professional musician before discovering he enjoys listening to music more than playing it. He knows a little bit about most genres, though electronic dance music, rock, and hip-hop are his favorites. Eleven albums/shows that transformed how he sees and hears the world (in order he encountered them): Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Van Halen Fair Warning; The Cure Standing on a Beach; John Coltrane Crescent; De La Soul Three Feet High and Rising; Puccini La Boheme (de los Angeles, Bjorling, Beecham); Everything but the Girl Walking Wounded; Carl Cox, Twilo, NYC, May 2000; Godspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.; Grateful Dead. Fillmore East, NYC, April 1971; Taylor Swift 1989.

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