North Carolina singer/songwriter Drake Margolnick had been playing and recording in Charlotte for several years before he got together with a handful of local musicians to form Flagship. Together, they sift through the pastoral folk rock graces of bands like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, with occasional detours into wide-eyed pop catharsis. Coming off of a few high-profile shows earlier this year, namely South by Southwest and the inaugural Bottle Rock Festival in Napa Valley, the band has also garnered hometown praise by being voted Best Local Band for Charlotte Magazines 2013 Bob Awards.
For their self-titled debut LP, due out on October 8th via Bright Antenna Records, they brought in producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Youth Lagoon) to man the boards. Building upon the orchestral pop foundations initially laid on 2012s Blackbush EP, the band tread deeper into the hazy borderlands between indie rock and classical influence. How they get there, though, isn’t always so straightforward
“Normally we just start playing together, no talking, just playing. No planning,” Margolnick said of the creative process. “It just falls together and we organize it. Once we have the song, Ill start mumbling and making noises and Ill find my melody during that process and then go and write the lyrics.”
The process may be unconventional, but it did yield lead single “Are You Calling”. Margolnick’s reverb-drenched vocals are wrapped around bits of tribal percussion, serving as the song’s backbone. From there, the track builds into a shower of chiming guitars and echoed vocals, creating a deeply personal bond without resorting to empty sentimentality. Eventually, everything snaps into place and a densely-packed wall of sound rushes out to wash it all away. Stream/download it below.