Ole Flannel is a Pittsburgh-based experimental artist who just released the concept album titled, “The Sunny Day at the End.” The six track collection includes Dream Pop meditations and a healthy dose of psychedelic exploratory compositions of found sounds and surreal settings. The record is a somewhat fictional observation of the end of the world, seen through the eyes of a passive observer.
Much of “The Sunny Day at the End” alternates stylistically between Lo-fi singer/songwriter Indie Folk (“Courts,” “It Goes”) and psychedelic guitar meditations (“Black Snowball,” “A Session Later”). It is the sound of Pop music filtered through the hypnagogic haze of a half dream.
At the heart of the record, both chronologically and conceptually, is the 21+ minute, Revolution 9-esque “Driving across PA letting stations bleed together as the world crumbles.” The piece is a concept song within a concept album, recreating the experience of radio stations bleeding into one another over the course of a long road trip. The experience comes complete with radio static, acid jazz, beat poetry and evangelical preaching.
We had the opportunity to chat with Ole Flannel (virtually) about the past, the future, the new album and the end of the world. Check out his answers to our 8 questions, below. And listen to “The sunny day at the end.” You can pick up your very own digital copy of the album at Bandcamp. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with this talented artist and his wonderfully eccentric new project.
8 Questions With Ole Flannel
The Static Dive: Where are you from?
Ole Flannel: I am from Philadelphia originally, but have lived in Pittsburgh for the past few years.
SD: How long have you been making music?
OF: I started taking violin lessons in elementary school before moving on to piano and guitar later on. I used to jam in my friend’s basement almost every day in high school and during summers in college (we mostly just messed around and didn’t record much), and started recording my own stuff once I moved to Pittsburgh.
SD: Who are the musicians involved in your project?
OF: I played all of the instruments (guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica, thumb piano, synths, samples, percussion, vocals), and there are samples included from the Library of Congress’s Citizen DJ project.
SD: Who are your biggest musical influences?
OF: I’m a sucker for any kind of interesting texture or tone, so I’ve always been drawn to shoegaze, dream-pop, lo-fi, whatever you want to call it. Specific artists that have inspired me include The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Clams Casino, Flying Lotus, Vinyl Williams, Bill Frisell, and Captain Beefheart.
SD: What is your greatest non-musical influence?
OF: I’d say visual arts. A lot of what I try to do is “paint” with sounds, in the same way that a lot of abstract artists (especially Wassily Kandinsky) tried to do it the other way around and portray sound with painting. I’m more interested in something weathered and rough than something polished.
SD: What inspired you to create this project?
OF: I had a ton of time on my hands once quarantine hit, as well as a lot of anxiety and general sadness surrounding the public health and political situation in America. This album was my way of working through that using a loose narrative structure.
SD: What are your plans for the future (musically)?
OF: Keep recording whenever it feels appropriate. Maybe more releases, maybe not for a while.
SD: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Ole Flannel: I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to listen to any of these songs.