Evanston songwriter Tim Flood and his band, Eve’s Twin Lover, released a new album titled Stop Sending People to Kill Me on April 1. If you were lucky enough to have had a ticket to their near-sold-out prerelease performance at SPACE on Feb. 24, you already know how awesome their sound is.
This studio recording was produced by acclaimed Chicago producer Brian Deck, (Counting Crows, Modest Mouse). All 11 songs were written by the band’s front man, singer/songwriter/guitarist Tim Flood.
This is the third full studio recording for Eve’s Twin Lover, but the first produced in collaboration with Deck, a joint effort that took the band to better places. The result is a modern Indie sound, with beautifully layered vocal, guitar, percussion and keyboard, with synthesized textures.
Flood’s lead guitar and vocals are at times both haunting and accessible, owning the songs with heart and intimacy. Guitarist Will Phelan and drummer Jamie Gallagher bring enormous talent and decades of experience to bear on the recording. Vocalist (and violinist during live performances) Alex Voigt shares the vocal spotlight with Flood on a couple of cuts, including “Budgie Smuggler,” below, and together their harmonies are fresh and bright. Singer/songwriter Henry Predergast (formerly of Record Low and Permacough) also contributes to back vocals. Deck brought in Philip Patterson (The Color Purple, Dreamgirls) to collaborate on keyboards as well.
The sound is tight, produced to excellence by Deck. The songs vary musically from melody to jam, and the recording holds together well around Flood’s deeper creative vision.
Think of your love like bees, feed the earth, we’re flowers blooming
Watch all of your judgements circle the drain, peel your fingers off them, you’re yearning yearning
Tomorrow, its the same, believe me
See the world in a grain of sand, heaven in a flower, eternity in an hour
See the world in a grain of sand, heaven in a flower, infinity in the palm of your hand
It’s all right there inside you, pull the man out of me …
Think of your love like trees, clean the earth, we’re pollen moving
Give up your love like it turns the earth, we’re spirits spinning, yearning yearning.
Flood has been a resident of Evanston for the last 20 years. While this recording was a solo project with regard to songwriting, considerable musical collaboration with his band transpired to reach the final product. He founded the band in 2011, and since that time, many changes have transpired as a few band members have come and gone and Flood has evolved as a musician and songwriter.
As a child, he learned to play on an old church piano that his parents provided, later transitioning to guitar. Flood says his connection with music as a young person eclipsed his interest in most everything else, including other people.
Like most artists, Flood’s work is driven by an attempt to make sense of his world. The subject matter is intimate and authentic. He loves bands that sound unique, yet have a catchy quality: Spoon, the New Pornographers, The Replacements, Paul Westerberg, Roxy music and Destroyer are some of his favorites.
Several years ago, Flood sold a successful business he’d spent 23 years growing in the staffing/recruiting space and began engaging more seriously with his musical ambitions. Time and resources brought about from selling his business paved the way for this master collaboration with Deck.
The title of the album, Stop Sending People to Kill Me, is a quote from a letter Marshal Tito (of communist Yugoslavia) sent to Joseph Stalin during the Cold War after Tito had caught the fifth assassin whom Stalin, his supposed ally, had sent to kill him.
At first read, one could surmise that the title refers to the worldly dangers that threaten our wellbeing from the outside. But it quickly becomes clear that Flood is reflecting on the committee inside his head that will not quiet.
Flood describes music as a great outlet for him “to work on all the crap bouncing around my head: anxiety, fear uncertainty.” This is a shared experience common to our culture of distraction. The zone we sometimes achieve listening to the music does quiet the nonstop committee in our heads. From Flood’s perspective, creating music also does this for him and he hopes the music might also do the same for his listeners.
If we could see our fear, would we wear it. Would we wear it
The fear propelling us, can you hear it. Hear it
The ghost in plain view, let it go. Devouring the inside of you, just let it go
The fear we’re clinging to, how we wear it
It’s all inside your head, can you hear it. Hear it.
Maybe it’s closeness, that helps us escape, bring us together
Let it go
The music itself is alluring, as you would expect given the Indie genre. Flood’s words draw listeners in for deeper exploration of his artistic agenda. With his lyrics, Flood extends his hand, inviting us to consider strategies for more peaceful living, without demanding that we follow. The messages are welcoming and accessible if you look for them.