1 may be The Flight One’s debut EP, but its five tracks of sensitive synth-pop also mark a cleaning of the slate for the artist behind it. The project is a new venture for Rochester, New York singer/songwriter Bryan Wang–he used to release music under his own name, but after putting out a string of singles over the past six months, he found himself in need of a new angle.
“I had developed this terrible habit of just mindless device dependence–always checking my socials and Soundcloud/Spotify numbers for no real good reason. Probably a combination of boredom, needing mental stimulation, and waiting for a ‘magic’ moment that wasn’t going to come. I had been pretty stuck for a few years.”
Wang ended up deleting the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts associated with his music. He started going by a new moniker, which, in a way, is also an old one. “I used to use AIM back in middle school, and theflight1 was my screen name. I think it was randomly generated. The fact that I can be anonymous-ish helps me separate myself a bit from the music.”
He made the EP with a back-to-basics methodology, working out of his home office and tinkering with a MIDI keyboard in Garageband. The songs came out in a burst of creative energy over the course of two weeks, after which, his twin brother Andrew mixed and mastered the project in FL Studio. Wang says it was a departure from his usual style of music-making.
“The interesting thing with this project is that the songs were sort of written and produced in conjunction, something I haven’t done before. In the past, everything was pretty much written on an acoustic guitar first.”
Sincere synths and sequenced beats give much of the project an innocent, playful feel, but as in his past work, Wang brings depth in his more mature approach to chords and melodies. As an example, take the second track, “Iwannamakesomethingofmyself.”
“The initial spark for that song happened one morning, shortly after waking up,” says Wang. “Andrew was strumming and palm muting this chord progression on the acoustic guitar that I liked. A-B-C#m-B. It had a nice rhythm to it as well. I went downstairs and put that progression down over an 80s piano synth that I liked, but made the chords slightly jazzier. This became the intro, and it went from there.”
The finished track balances world-weariness with renewed determination, the tension that gives the EP its animating spark–1 has an equal flair for the catchy and melancholy, like a juicy pack of sour bubblegum. It reestablishes Wang as a new artist worth following, and with another Flight One EP in the works for the near future, he’s just getting started (again).