October 1, 2013
Gloom Balloon is the debut solo project by Patrick Tape Fleming, the founder of the indie rock band The Poison Control Center. That band has played over 1,000 shows, released 3 critically acclaimed records, opened for Jeff Mangum, Pavement, and Of Montreal, toured with Apples In Stereo, and was named 2011 Live Act of the Year by Steven Hyden at the AV Club.
After a 13 month tour the band decided to go into hibernation. This left Tape Fleming alone in a deep depression with no artistic outlet, so he began painting. He called his first piece Gloom Balloon. This 6-foot tall painting is indicative of his emotional and mental state at the time. It was on the cusp of committing suicide that Gloom Balloon learned of the death of his musical hero, Bill Doss of The Olivia Tremor Control. In that moment, Gloom Balloon decided to live.
Translating abstract explorations on canvas into music, Gloom Balloon has created a harrowing set of unflinchingly personal songs. Enlisting co-producer Christopher Ford (Christopher the Conquered) and string arranger H.D. Harmsen, the music mixes classical instruments with modern electronics.
Gloom Balloon’s debut release, She Was the One That Got Away (7″/DL), sounds like a modern day take on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, with saxes, flutes, and horns floating around a classic hip-hop beat. The single’s b-side features Bob Nastanovich of Pavement and the Silver Jews screaming imaginary horse names. It’s with that free-form style of collaboration and freedom that these home recordings are assembled.
Side A of Gloom Balloon’s debut LP, You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts. 1-7 (An Ode To Bill Doss) (LP/CD/DL), features songs written on the verge of suicide, elliptically examining emotions in a wonderfully melancholy song cycle. Featuring the Finezza Quartetto, each song shifts through familiar and forgotten sounds into colorful and unpredictable combinations. Side B (Fix The Sunshine) is dedicated entirely to Bill Doss, whose voice you hear on track one. The side is a sonic kaleidoscope of styles exploring experimental soundscapes, electronic beats, and straight up psych-pop. Gloom Balloon is talking directly to Will Cullen Hart and Bill Doss of The Olivia Tremor Control when he sings: “All the children in the world are one day going to die, so Will, You, and I.”
Preorder the vinyl now only as a bundle with the debut Gloom Balloon 7″ and receive:
- Advance shipping of the 7″ and album together
- Advance streaming of the album and 7″ tracks
- Collectible “gloom” balloons
- Exclusive digital download of a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong”
- Exclusive digital download of the acoustic demos of Side A of You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts. 1-7 (An Ode to Bill Doss)
- An autographed copy of a page of the string arrangements for the song “Gloom Balloon”, signed by Patrick Tape Fleming (Gloom Balloon), composer/conductor H.D. Harmsen, and co-producer/musician Christopher Ford (Christopher the Conquered).
- Personalized Gloom Balloon painting by Patrick Tape Fleming
- A chance to win a big Gloom Balloon painting and a test pressing of the LP + 7″
Gloom Balloon + Christopher the Conquered Tour Dates:
- 10/24 – Northfield, MN – The Chapel
- 10/25 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club (w/ Jacuzzi Boys)
- 10/26 – Beloit, WI – Coughy Haus
- 10/27 – Madison, WI – Dragonfly Lounge
- 10/28 – Chicago, IL – TBA
- 10/29 – Galesburg, IL – TBA
- 10/30 – St. Louis, MO – Livery Company
- 10/31 – Nashville, TN – TBA
- 11/01 – Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia
- 11/02 – Athens, GA – Flicker Theater
- 11/03 – Asheville, NC – Emerald Lounge
- 11/04 – Knoxville, TN – TBA
- 11/05 – Memphis, TN – CourtHouse Co-op
- 11/06 – Lafayette. LA – Artmosphere
- 11/07 – Houston, TX – TBA
- 11/08 – Austin, TX – Hole in the Wall
- 11/09 – Denton, TX – JJ’s Pizza
- 11/10 – Fayetteville, AR – Nightbird Books
- 11/11 – Colombia, MO – TBA
- 11/12 – Kirksville, MO – The Aquadome
September 24, 2013
Gloom Balloon’s debut single She Was The One That Got Away (7″/DL) is coming out on October 22nd! This track’s combination of saxes, flutes, horns, and a classic hip-hop beat make it reminiscent of a modern day take on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. The single is backed with the track “Science of Love Minus Harry Harlow”, which has been kicking off Gloom Balloon’s sets recently and getting folks groovin’ like you wouldn’t believe.
Besides providing its own great musical experience, this single will also be paving the way for the band’s first LP You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts. 1-7 (An Ode to Bill Doss) (LP/CD/DL), available on December 5th. Check out the LP’s double album covers:
You will be able to pre-order both the 7″ and the LP as a bundle starting on Tuesday, October 1st at maximumamesrecords.com/shop. Pre-orders come with loads of great bonuses:
- An autographed copy of a page of the string arrangements for the song “Gloom Balloon” – signed by songwriter Patrick Tape Fleming, composer H.D. Harmsen, and co-producer Christopher Ford
- A personal Gloom Balloon painting by Patrick Tape Fleming
- Be entered to win a big Gloom Balloon painting and a test pressing of the record!
- Exclusive download of a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong”
- Exclusive download of the acoustic demos of Side A of the LP
- Some actual Gloom Balloons!
Check out this killer performance to get a taste of what’s to come:
We’ll leave you with a bonus: Christopher the Conquered (who is backing Fleming in Gloom Balloon) just dropped this new video, in which he sings an American folk song in a graveyard. Support Christopher by picking up a copy of The Fate of A Good Man right here. Peace.