Flight Feathers’ album “In the Darkness of My Night” is the debut solo project of Babi Pal. The album was written, performed, recorded and mixed by Babi in his studio in Brooklyn, NY. The inspiration for the music was a yearning for simplicity and the DIY freedom of all-night 4-track recording sessions. The result is a collection of relaxed, sincere and introspective songs featuring simple instrumentation and structures with a rural, acoustic slant evoking comparisons to Neil Young, Vetiver and Red House Painters.
“The artist I want to cover today goes by the name Flight Feathers and is the pet project of one Babi Pal of Brooklyn, NY, a multi-instrumentalist who also recorded and mixed the album himself. I heard Flight Feathers during a segment break on Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanaugh’s podcast “Mike and Tom Eat Snacks” and followed the link trail to Pal’s Bandcamp page. What I found (and bought) was “In the Darkness of My Night”: 8 tracks of brilliantly executed, bittersweet indie-folk in the vein of Elliot Smith and Mark Kozeleck with hints of Neil Young and Yo La Tengo sprinkled on top. The music is patient and confident, fully realized and ready to go; this isn’t a basement tape or a demo. Pal has created a perfect soundtrack for a rainy autumn day, you can smell the wet dirt, hear the soft wind and feel the peace that comes from staring quietly out the window at the grey sky and bare trees. From the drowsy waltz of “Afterlife” and the unhurried wander of “The Last Dance” to the more upbeat skip of “Freeze the Frame” and the slowly building cacophony that is “The Beating of My Heart” the album hikes through peaks and valleys, alternating between warm and fuzzy and… warm and fluffy? Ok, so honestly it’s not hugely diverse but it’s got enough character to really pull you in and it truly is one of the best records of it’s kind I’ve heard since Red House Painters’ “Songs for a Blue Guitar”. It’s got the tender acoustic ballads, the lazy swirling vocals and the sharp edge of rock just barely scraping across the surface, not enough to cut but enough to scratch the itch.
Chances are I won’t get to see Flight Feathers perform live, as they’re currently just doing local shows, and by the time they make it out here to the NW they may be so huge that I won’t want to go. However, as I said above, the internet is a great tool for discovery and it’s proved immensely useful again as I’d have never found this little gem.”
“Sometimes, artists aren’t able to strip away all the crud that builds up around the edges of trying to create something completely new (amazing how many people attempt to single-handedly invent new genres of music). Brooklyn’s Babi Pal is not one of those artists. I’ve been listening to his new record In the Darkness of My Night over and over again and it just feels so satisfying, so right. Clean, like after a rainstorm. No bullshit here, no artificial sweeteners, just righteous American tunes.”
From Time and a Word:
“4.5/5. Absolutely excellent indie rock. A new band that many people may not know about, Flight Feathers take indie rock, add a little folk and make great music. The songs are lyrically intriguing and musically interesting. Some are catchy, they’re all well-arranged, it’s definitely a great album and absolutely one worth getting. The best part of it all is, it’s free on their website. Just Google them and you’ll find their website and you can get the album for free. Highlights include: “Freeze The Frame”, “Smoke” and “All I’m Thinking About Is You”.”
From Maimed and Tamed:
Nothing beats the feeling of listening to an album the first time through and realizing that it is something special. It’s not something that happens frequently, but when it does you get that big grin across your face and as soon as you finish the last track you go right back up to the first and start all over again.
I remember this distinct feeling the first time that I listened to Tan Vampires’ For Physical Fitness and more recently I had that feeling with the debut LP from Flight Feathers, In The Darkness of My Night. Flight Feathers is comprised of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Babi Pal and well, there is no and, it’s just Babi Pal. The New Jersey born Pal wrote, performed and recorded the whole record at his studio, 5D Studios, in Brooklyn. Talk about DIY.
In The Darkness of My Night showcases a variety of musical styles and finds Pal shifting from pop melodies, to country ballads, to layers of ambient sounds and back again. The record opens with “Summer Fields” a track that sounds familiar even upon first listen as Pal settles into a soothing falsetto over slide guitar giving the track a wonderful folk feel. On “Signal Call” Pal slows the pace and delivers a soft and subtle track over a bed of harmonium, and man am I a sucker for the harmonium.
“The Last Dance” is the gorgeous country ballad that I previously referenced where Pal sings “I’ve been saving all of my love for you/I’ll do anything you want me to/I’ve been loving you as long as I recall.” Then there is the epic final track “The Beating of My Heart” which upon first listen reminded me of the chaotic and turbulent finale of Wilco’s “At Least That’s What You Said.”
You can stream In The Darkness of My Night and name your price for the full album on Flight Feathers’ bandcamp page. Be careful though as this one will be tough to take off of repeat, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Babi Pal grew up in New Jersey, got sucked into New York City for college, and has since escaped back to NJ, setting up shop in Maplewood, NJ. He has been active in the music scene, playing in several bands, including The Flanks, Unbelievable Luck and Magdyn Osh, and regularly plays venues like Southpaw, Mercury Lounge and Pete’s Candy Store. He also runs a recording studio in his garage, where the Flight Feather’s album was recorded and mixed.