The oddest things can happen on tour, and SoCal psych-folk’s The Fling will be the first to tell you as much. The band is right in the thick of its first major tour, and a spontaneous drum circle with strangers at 4 a.m. in St. Louis wasn’t even the weirdest thing to happen so far.
“We met Rick James’ ex-guitar player’s ex-wife. It was pretty strange,” drummer Justin Ivey said. “She was a security guard in Atlanta. Superfreaky, huh?” Such surreal encounters should escalate as The Fling’s profile continues rising. Its seemingly effortless anthems recall Band of Horses or Fleet Foxes, and hint at a proclivity to the Northwest with a decidedly rainy feel that stands in stark comparison to its sunny, Long Beach roots.
“I don’t think that we meant to do any indie-folk thing. I think it just kind of happened,” Ivey said. “We grew up listening to jazz, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana. We just play the music that fits us, I guess.”
In a busy year, the act signed a record deal, with two discs quickly following: “When the Madhouses Appear” and a follow-up EP, “What I’ve Seen,” which hit shelves earlier this month.
“We wanted to put something out as soon as possible. We just love putting out music,” Ivey said. “Being able to write music like we have helps you evolve. We’re constantly writing and learning.”
The release of “What I’ve Seen” coincided with the addition of a new member, and the band is all the better for it.
“Having another musical option has helped us think about things that we might not usually think of. It’s been a benefit having another songwriter,” Ivey said. “We’ve evolved.”
If that growth and productivity translate proportionally to popularity, maybe meeting the ghost of Rick James himself comes next.
“There’s no shortage of ideas, so we’ll go into a rehearsal space and hash it out,” Ivey said. “We don’t want to put out a record, tour for a couple of years and release a new one; we want to keep making music and having it out there for people.”