It is perhaps a sign of the single-dominated streaming age that, in 2021, eleven long years since they broke onto the scene with ‘Crave You’, Aussie electro duo Flight Facilities are only now releasing their second album.
The long, long, long-awaited follow-up to the ARIA Gold 2014 album Down To Earth drops this week in the form of Forever, and like its predecessor, lands on the locally-founded label Future Classic. In many ways, it feels like a natural follow-up, but in others, it’s also very much an album for 2021.
It’s not like we haven’t heard music from the duo since that last album either. They’ve released a steady stream of BIG singles. ‘Better Than Ever’ featuring Aloe Blacc, ‘Need You’ featuring Nika and ‘Arty Boy’ with Emma Louise are just a few singles released over the past seven years.
You’d be forgiven for expecting Forever to include some of those hit singles from recent years, mixed in with a few new tracks. You’d also be wrong. Instead, it’s all-new music for 2021, marking a new era for Flight Facilities.
Some of your favourite Flight Facilities collaborators are back for the ride, with NZ duo Broods featuring on two tracks, while Emma Louise returns for another time, and BRUX – formerly Elizabeth Rose – is back as well.
Those tunes very much have the feel of a continuation of previous collaborations. In a way, Flight Facilities are the ultimate chameleons. ‘If Only’ with Emma Louise feels like it could sit as part three of a two-part EP with ‘Two Bodies’ (2014) and ‘Arty Boy’. Her voice shines just as you’d expect, with layered harmonies that prove why she’s one of the best singers in Australia, on a track that has so much to offer and ends the record perfectly.
‘What I Want’ is a spacious yet funky take on that classic Broods style, led by Georgia’s recognisable vocals, while ‘Forever’ is still utterly ‘Broods’ but totally on the other end of their spectrum: fast-paced and driving, yet melodic and reflective all at once.
The track featuring a previous collaborator that is least like former editions is unsurprisingly ‘Wait and See’ featuring BRUX. The six-minute tune is an incredible journey through spiralling soundscapes that seems to capture the essence of BRUX’s former identity as Elizabeth Rose, and her current, heavier vibe as well. It’s an incredibly artful piece of music.
Of course, there are plenty of new faces too. If you enjoy when Flight Facilities throw caution to the wind and embrace velvet-smooth beats with funk dripping from every note, then the title track ‘Lights Up’ featuring Compton rapper and producer Channel Tres is for you.
LA-based singer Your Smith (aka Caroline Smith) features on two tracks. The first of which, ‘Heavy’ evokes memories of early Flight Facilities music from the very first keyboard chord, and is underpinned by a lounge-style bass. The second then shows off another side of Smith’s stylistic range, with the vibe and slight twang in tone colour feeling just a little bit country.
The previously released ‘Move’ featuring DRAMA is undoubtedly one of the stars, showing once again that the duo can hero the style of their vocalist but at the same time bring those inimitable dance vibes that have seen Flight Facilities headline many an Aussie music festival over the last decade.
There’s so much more to dive into as well. But whether you’re a long-time or first-time Flight Facilities fan, it’s well worth putting some time in your busy calendar to really experience this record. ‘Experience’ being the key word there. Your ears will thank you for it.