SONG PREMIERE: Paddlefish Electrify with Indie Rock Gem “Small Song”

It is not easy to find a fresh take of the coming-of-age story, which is perhaps what makes Chicago-based Paddlefish’s debut studio album Flyer so appealing. Principal songwriter Owen Misterovich doesn’t so much rewrite the coming-of-age narrative as crack it open and expose the process itself. Written over the course of his first year away from his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, Misterovich presents eight tales told from the threshold between youth and adulthood, a chronological account of his own journey of disillusionment, acceptance, and eventual growth.

The record was largely inspired by the disappointment he experienced after moving to Chicago at the age of seventeen, where he found himself braving the first harsh winter in a windowless dorm room in the heart of the city. Through evocative lyricism and an impeccable sense of melody and arrangement, Flyer parallels his experience with infectious stories of failed space travel, dorm-room spiders, and never-ending highways.

The songs are largely arranged by Misterovich, whose finesse for balancing hooks and unpredictability feels far beyond his years. Flyer combines rich guitar textures with a lush palette of piano, organ, and mellotron, an expansive experience that leaves ample space for both reflection and release. Influenced by artists like Neil Young and The Band, with loving nods towards The Flaming Lips and Wilco, Flyer crackles with energy that defies the alienation from which it was born.

Today Glide is excited to premiere the band’s new single “Small Song” ahead of its official release this Friday, May 1st. The electrifying indie-rock gem finds Misterovich tackling perhaps the most literal interpretation of being between two worlds as he recounts an episode of sleep paralysis. Opening up with a soft but urgently strummed acoustic before exploding in a big indie rock landscape, the song is reminiscent of early 2000s outfits like the Strokes alongside more the more mellow side of acts like Dinosaur Jr. As Misterovich sings the infectious chorus of “I believe in you, but let me sleep goddamn it,” he expresses his frustration about that state between being awake and asleep. The song culminates with a jagged and fiery guitar solo that showcases the band’s rock chops. 

Owen Misterovich shares the inspiration and process behind the song:

“I wrote this record over the past two years and during that time I poured all of myself into this thing. Working with Matt Dewine at Pieholden Suite Sound in Chicago very much informed everything about this record. Pieholden was originally founded by the late Jay Bennett. While recording, Matt told us stories about Jay and how he approached music. Jay’s philosophy toward making music is ingrained into the studio. This idea to stay grounded with country folk songwriting, but then just go crazy with the arrangement and recording. Pieholden encourages you to go nuts. Looking back, it felt like I was trying to use every instrument in the studio. If I saw a Harmonium in the corner, it was going on the record. How about a fucked up tack piano, throw it on the record. Let’s use that guitar that’s missing strings and frets and you have to fidget with the cable for it to work, sounds perfect.

In reality, the reason this record sounds the way it does is not because of all the weird instruments, but because it was built with a solid foundation. That foundation being Bayden Fraley on bass, Missy Farrell on drums, and Matt Dewine knowing exactly how to make things sound great!”

LISTEN:

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