It’s been three years since Oklahoma City band The Gentle Art of Floating formed, and it still hasn’t managed to release an album. It has a pretty good excuse ... for that at least.
Around Christmas 2009, front man Colin Nance came home to find his studio — and their practice space — different than he’d left it.
“People broke into Colin’s house, and they went with the Grinch method and ransacked the whole studio, middle of the day,” bassist Eric Gorman said. “We’d started (the album) before the gear got stolen and lost all of our tracks, and that was the biggest loss, really. We’re trucking through it still.”
The crime soon became a mixed blessing; friends rallied behind the group’s benefit shows to help them afford to replace their instruments. Once they did, they recut the tracks
and made their way to Trent Bell’s Bell Labs in Norman.
“It served as a really good kicking point to quit dawdling around, though,” Gorman said. “We grew with the songs a lot more. Now, we have much more mature versions of the songs. It sucked ass, but it was for the best.”
Now, The Gentle Art of Floating is putting the finishing touches on its debut record for a fall release. It promises to be chock-full of the immense anthems Gorman and Nance, along with drummer Tony Mahon and violinist Shelby Herald, have been showcasing since the band’s inception. Equal parts ’80s synth pop and ’90s shoegaze, songs like “Stuck in the Bubble” and “Death of Doowop” are big, bold, daring and adventurous, recalling acts like M83 and Broken Social Scene.
“If anything, we took the sonic aspect of wanting to be big, loud and powerful without being anything close to a rock band,” Gorman said. “There’s an aspect that’s really poppy, and another that is really droney. There’s always a certain nostalgia to the music, stuff we relate to from being younger. It’s a really good soundtrack for going to space, or at least driving late at night and looking at the stars.”
To make sure the wonder doesn’t stop at the music, the quartet has taken to sometimes-elaborate lighting and visual setups to build things to another level. No two shows are the same, and Friday night’s at Opolis will be no different.
“We try to make it a different experience with its own vibe,” Gorman said. “Me and Colin have a thing for the ambient blue light from TVs. We think it creates a really good mood, so for one show, we just got a rack and put up a shit ton of TVs. It was cool, just really heavy.”