For those of us that grew up Christian then turned “non-believer,” the iconography, language, and belief systems of that religion remain buried in our being. FLANCH comes from this secular place that sits upon a well of Christian ideals and vocabulary. FLANCH wants to pump all this sacred residue to the surface and put it in conversation with hedonistic life and love, the internet, and internet love. This conversation, at times, deals in violent oppositions between the secular and sacred, at others, this conversation synthesizes.
Musically, this occurs in no vacuum. The track “graace” builds tension with the trap trope of rising and falling mechanical synth arpeggios. While an ear familiar with trap would anticipate a certain kind of drop now rote in the genre, “graace” breaks this tense moment with a rolling deep rhythm that is forceful and yet feels like soaring on some hedonistic cloud nine. The lyrics here are representative of the premise of FLANCH. Ending this moment is the line, “sipping the love of God with the hottest goddess and angels” rapped by a genderless, vocoded voice. Hedonistic love and the most pure action–taking part in God’s love–come together fluidly, and amidst the sensuous yet forceful beat, it is completely acceptable. The voice turns frantic after this, spitting the line, “I have Jesus, but I have to please her,” amidst a rigid beat with scattered spacey noise closing in around the edges of the song. The weight of personal Christian history and desires we try to submit freely to in exertion of our freedom send us spinning.
FLANCH does not exclusively dwell in the hip-hop or trap world, but at times utilizes the oily musical language of Arca–producer and avant-garde electronic musician. Where Arca sculpts synth sounds to express the fluidity of the body, FLANCH forces our spiritual selves to be confronted with fluidity. Melodies and rhythms speed up and slow down in electronic swells, unafraid to decompose and even destroy themselves on an orchestral scale. These moments mirror the thinning and thickening of a spirituality mucking around in the mind and body of a lapsed believer. At times, after being thrown around in this world of hedonism and religiosity FLANCH has created, the listener is thrown into a nebulous interim expressed in rhythmically amorphous spacey instrumental tracks.
If you once believed and sometimes feel vacuous, swimming inside some ghostly religiosity and don’t know how the hell you ended up like this, FLANCH is singing for all of you kindred spirits. For the rest of you, just know FLANCH is putting out some hot tracks.