|In 2019 and 2020 Flamingo Pier released two widely lauded EPs on Soundway Records, garnering support from UK electronic duo Maribou State (Ninja Tune), American radio host, DJ, and producer Tim Sweeney (Beats In Space), BBC 6 Music DJs, The Blessed Madonna, and JD Twitch to name a few. But like many artists in the last 12 months, the group had to navigate the unfamiliar territory of intermittent lockdowns to write and record an album. The silver lining of this however, was that this was the first time that members Luke Walker, Brad Craig, and Dominic Jones were able to create the record in person together instead of collaborating over the internet - because usually at least one of them has been travelling overseas.
They wrote most of the album together in 2020 in Auckland with a swing of local musicians contributing to the recording, including fellow Soundway act Julien Dyneon drums, saxophonist Nathan Haines, as well as Jess Penson (Kédu Carlö). The group centred the album around the power of shared joy, after what has been a very difficult year for many people. “By being a source of joy for others, you amplify that joy for both yourself and those around you, rather than losing anything,” reflects Walker.
Channelling classic emotive house, to disco, Afro and jazz funk on their debut album, Flamingo Pier cite a wide range of musical influences such as Khruangbin, Roisin Murphy, Peven Everett, house legends Masters at Work and Brazilian artist Tim Maia. This translates into an uplifting but nostalgic current running throughout the album - reflecting on last chances, soul-searching and longing for the carefree days of the dance floor.
The group were lucky enough to host the annual Flamingo Pier festival on Waiheke Island just before another lockdown came into force in February 2021. While this year did not allow for international acts to perform, the vibrant local scene delivered. The power of music, with its ability to create and heighten joy amongst a crowd of people could not have been more apparent, or more needed in this time - something that this album aims to spread even further.
Flamingo Pier, the album, is out 4 June 2021, and 3 September 2021 on vinyl. Pre-order at your fave record store or soundwayrecords.com and flamingopier.bandcamp.com.