FEATURED FIND: FLIPTURN – FLORIDA’S HIDDEN INDIE GEM TURNED VIRAL HITMAKERS
If you haven’t heard the song “August” by flipturn then are you even a fan of indie music?! This song has made the rounds online since its release in 2018, and four years later, the band has so much more to offer than their original catalyst to indie fame.
Since their formation in 2015, flipturn has far outgrown their Fernandina Beach, Florida garage where they gave birth to the musical project that features heavily on indie playlists across streaming services today. The band consists of Dillon Basse (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Tristan Duncan (lead guitar), Madeline Jarman (bass), Mitch Fountain (synth), and Devon VonBalson (drums). I mean, they’ve managed to rank up over 40 million streams on Spotify alone and that’s no easy task, so you know there’s something special going on here!
Currently on a North American tour with Mt.Joy, Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Wilderado, the band stays busy with constant touring when they aren’t recording new music. And speaking of new music, there’s a lot to get excited about when it goes to flipturn. They just released the first single “Playground” off their highly anticipated debut album, coming later this year, and boy, I can’t wait for this one to drop!
Also, on the cards for flipturn in 2022 are a long list of live performances, including prestigious festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, SXSW, Hangout, Sunfest, and Treefort, to name but a few.
“But what do they sound like?” you may be asking yourself right now. Well, flipturn is the perfect live band. I mean, they’re everything you want to experience on stage at a live show or festival. ESPECIALLY a festival! I would sum them up as an indie summer festival in a tight little alternative rock package with a cute, modern pop bow around it. They’re energetic, sweet-sounding and full of summer vibes for you to enjoy with your friends as you soak up the sun in your cutest outfit.
After spending years growing, bonding and evolving on the road together as they toured the country over and over again, flipturn is finally (almost) ready to release their debut full-length offering to the world, and it’s set to be a stunner for sure!
So far, flipturn has released their debut EP called Heavy Colors in 2017, including fan favorites like “Chicago” and “Vanilla”. Then came the very successful EP Citrona in 2018, including their viral hit “August” and other flipturn classics. More recently, the EP Something You Needed was released in 2020 right before the pandemic rocked our world. Since then, the band has released a bunch of live shows and tracks online and on streaming platforms that kept their live audience entertained during Covid-19 times when the band was stuck at home.
Now it’s time to prepare for flipturn’s debut full-length album, with a journey through their most beloved songs and a look at the first single off the upcoming debut album. GET EXCITED!
FLIPTURN - AUGUST
Fan-favorite “August” took the band to a whole new level of viral stardom back when it was released online in 2018 on the EP Citrona. The song is about reminiscing over a past love, and the lyrics affectionately relive old memories and the experience of being in love, while remaining unique and not playing into old clichés, the song is a catchy singalong anthem for the heartbroken youth.
The music video was filmed in Tampa / St. Pete & Gainesville, Florida, and is a cute little visual representation of the emotion the song radiates. It’s a nostalgic and intimate look into young love and features some of Florida’s most iconic locations as a romantic backdrop.
FLIPTURN - VANILLA
“Vanilla” is one of flipturn’s most successful hits, off their debut EP Heavy Colors that dropped in 2017. The lyrics discuss the difficulty of finding originality, which writer Dillon Basse explained: “It’s about a writer’s process trying to write a song and not really knowing what to write, having writer’s block.”
The song, however, is far from vanilla and has summer anthem written all over it! The video features band members along with friends and family frolicking around their home state of Florida and doing what they do best – playing music!
FLIPTURN - GLISTENING
In 2020, flipturn released their latest EP titled Something You Needed, a 5-track tasting menu of what’s to come. “Glistening” quickly became a standout track on the EP and caught the attention of many listeners and critics, both old and now.
“The video takes place in three worlds, represented by each of us,” explains the band. “Each world shows the contrasts between expectations and reality. A colorful vibrant birthday in a dark decrepit home, bright happy cartoons set against an empty, lonely world, and mirrors that reflect the opposite of each of our environments.”
Bassist Madeline Jarman shares, “This was our first time traveling for a video shoot. We felt an instant creative bond with the videographers, and they were a dream to collaborate with on this project.”
Adds lead guitarist Tristan Duncan, “The video they created expresses even more than our subconscious thoughts when writing the song––their work expresses something we didn’t know needed to be told.”
Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dillon Basse explains, “One of the coolest parts about writing music and putting it out into the world is hearing all the different ways people perceive the song. When we write the songs, we always try to leave a little ambiguity in the lyrics for this very reason.” Basse continues, “Even within the band, ‘Glistening’ meant something a little different to each of us. Watching a music video always helps me connect with a song more, so I’m really excited to finally give people a chance to interpret this song in a whole new way.”
FLIPTURN ON AUDIOTREE LIVE
flipturn is all about the live show, and their performance was made for the festival main stage! Even in this Audiotree Live set you can see their charisma and enthusiasm rip through the screen and offer their viewers and listeners something truly special. The energetic indie outfit run through these 5 songs with grace and ease, urging everyone listening to get up and dance, no matter where you are or what you're doing. flipturn is a dancing band and there’s no doubt about it!
FLIPTURN - PLAYGROUND
“Playground” welcomes a new era of flipturn, and marks their first new music release since 2020. It’s clear that flipturn has evolved after spending years of the road captivating live audiences all over the country. They’ve taken their experiences as musicians and transformed into a more mature, sonically aware band with a diverse offering to rival any indie artist in the scene today.
The song plays with themes of making personal progress and inevitably backsliding while coming to terms with the end of innocence. Heavy stuff, but they pull it off with an upbeat, groovy style as only flipturn can! “Playground” gives every member of the band a chance to shine, with it’s whimsical sound that twists and turns as the song grows and expands, clinging to its listeners.
On the single, lead guitarist Tristan Duncan said, “Everybody has at least once felt the yearning for childhood and the lack of responsibilities and obligations associated with it. There was beauty and invincibility to everything you did. The sun kissed your skin a little softer while the days ticked on forever.”
He continues, “Growing up has a way of taking all that away. You learn through trial and error while unknowingly laying the bricks below you. New things feel a little less shiny and the weight of your world pushes a little harder down on you. At some point, you realize you forget what it felt like to be a kid. That’s when it becomes easy to romanticize it, but a lot harder to shrug away the sobering thoughts of your adult life.”
Currently, flipturn is in the middle of a North American run with Wilderado. Later in the year, they will hit the road with Mt. Joy and Rainbow Kitten Surprise. All upcoming tour dates and links to buy tickets can be found on the band’s website https://flipturn.band/ . Do yourself a favor and catch flipturn live this Summer for what’s sure to be an amazing live show you’ll never forget and an unbelievable summer memory for all! And don’t forget to keep your eyes on the band’s socials and follow them on streaming platforms for more news about their upcoming debut album, dropping later this year! It’s gonna be jam-packed with good tunes and summer vibes so you don’t want to miss out on what’s sure to be one of the best indie albums of 2022!
WE ARE: THE GUARD: Hey flipturn! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us and congrats on the release of "Playground." How would you describe the single sonically to a first-time listener, and how does it differ from previous releases?
TRISTAN DUNCAN (TD): Thank you so much! Putting out “Playground'' was such a fun experience all around, albeit a little nervous on our end upon the realization of it being the first piece of new music we’ve put out in two years.
Funnily enough, the name actually came from the playful nature of when we first started working on the song. There were so many moving parts that we didn’t really try to reign in, which ended up lending itself towards the lyrics quite well. There’s definitely a little bit of that 80s gloss to it, too, with the awesome synth work from Mitch.
When we finally finished writing the song, there was talks about cutting the instrumental outro on the single version and only putting it on the album version, but we came around on it and decided that the single totally needed it.
WATG: It’s the first single off the debut album. Can you tell us the inspiration behind the track, the story and the meaning of the lyrics and concept of the music video? What can you share with us about this brilliant new flipturn era?
DILLON BASSE (DB): The inspiration behind the lyrics came from the idea that as we grow older it gets harder to hold onto that childhood naiveness we all used to have so much of. It's about the balance between accepting the reality that is everyday life and also trying not to take life too seriously at the same time. Since the song also had somewhat of an 80's sound to it, we thought taking inspiration from our favorite 80's movies about adventure and adolescence (ET, Goonies, etc.) would be the perfect way to portray the message.
WATG: Who are your musical influences and inspirations?
MADELINE JARMAN (MJ): I think the cool thing about us is that we come from such different musical backgrounds. For me personally, I grew up listening to a lot of new-wave 80s music. My parents love The Cure, New Order, and Bowie, so I think a lot of my intrinsic musical influences draw from that genre of music. I know that Tristan grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and electronic music, but he also has a strong love for jazz. Each of us draw from different types of music, but we all love alternative/indie music so I think that’s kind of how we created our own type of sound.
WATG: Can you tell us more about how the band was formed? How did you all get together and decide to start this project and what were your goals going into it?
MJ: Tristan, Dillon and I started the band in December 2015 when we were seniors in high school. We’re from a super small beachy/touristy town in Florida, so no one else was really in the “music scene”, per say. One day Tristan and I met up for coffee to study for some AP exam, but we got off-track and started talking about music. Both of us had always dreamed of being in a band, so we decided to give it a shot! I recreationally played bass at the time, and Tristan knew how to play guitar. Dillon was in my friend circle at school and I knew he could sing so we gave him a call about potentially wanting to start a band. Sure enough, he said yes and we haven’t looked back since! Our goals honestly haven’t changed much since starting the band. It started out as us just jamming out to some covers, then that rolled into original music, which rolled into live shows. We’ve always dreamed of going on tour and playing in front of people around the country (and hopefully someday soon the world!), so the fact that we get to do that today is surreal. My high school self would never believe that I get to do this as my full-time career.
WATG: Tell us about your fans! What makes flipturn fans so special?
MJ: We meet so many interesting people every night at our shows and it fills our hearts with so much joy. With everything in life being so digital, it’s cool to have face-to-face interactions with people that love and connect to our music. We have the nicest and most supportive fans, and we truly cherish them. We love to feed off of the crowd’s energy at our shows, so when they’re hype about a song, it makes us even more hype. It’s crazy fun, and the energy exchange is such a real thing. We can’t thank our fans enough for the amount of support we’ve received over the years– many of them who have stuck around since the very beginning. The community of people that listens to our music is the reason why we get to travel and live out our dreams.
WATG: You guys have quite a bit of live performances on the horizon and under your belt. You’ve toured extensively and played many big festivals. Which one was your favorite performance and why? Can you share your best live memory with us?
DB: My favorite live performance ever may have been in Denver this past fall. We played a sold out show to about 500 people and the energy was unreal that night. I think what made it so special was that the crowd made it feel like we were playing a hometown show in Florida even though it was our first time ever playing in Denver. I also think people in Colorado just really love live music and because of that show Denver is always circled on the calendar for us now.
WATG: When can we expect the debut album? What details can you share with our readers about the new project? Anything interesting you can tell us to get our audience excited for the upcoming album?
TD: With the upcoming album, we can definitely say this is the most comprehensive piece of work we’ve done. With the addition of Mitch and Devon, we’ve really rounded out the sound we’ve been going for — but throughout the writing process, we found ourselves really figuring out ways to push ourselves as musicians. It was not only a logistical restructuring time for us during 2020, it was also a sonic reconstruction that allowed us to delve into the nitty-gritty of being musicians and songwriters. On top of all of that, working with our producer Jon Gilbert truly gave us a much more pronounced recording process that was overall so fun and exciting to be a part of.
WATG: Who would be your dream collaboration?
DB: I think my dream collaboration would be Parcels. There is an inexplicable happiness to their sound and they groove like no other band I've heard before. I would love to be able to tap into that somehow and see what we could create together.
WATG: To end with a fun one, what’s a question you wish more people asked you and then can you answer it?!
MJ: Oooooh, hmm. I would have to say that I wish people would ask us, “What’s your favorite meal you’ve eaten on the road?” We get to eat at a lot of eclectic restaurants around the country before/after our shows. Every time we go to LA, we always go to a vegan burger joint called Monty’s. We’re obsessed. They have an insane fried chick’n sandwich that is incredible. Chef’s kiss.