Flat Mary Road, “Porch Stasis”

Michael Brummett

Flat Mary Road is largely a community of friends — who just so happen to make great music together.

Background

Flat Mary Road has been playing throughout the Philadelphia music scene for nearly a decade. In all that time together, members have come and gone, and even switched an instrument or two. As these dynamics have continually changed, lead singer/songwriter Steve Teare has kept at his craft.

Telling the story of urban dwellers, road trips, and house cats, Flat Mary Road’s songs have always been pulled back to Philly, even after explorations of the greater Northeast. Ultimately, Flat Mary Road (FMR) had their sound formed in basement/attic sessions, drawing on the influences of late 80s indie rock, injected with American folk and even power pop.

“Porch Stasis” is pulled from FMR’s January 13th, 2017, release Driving With The Numen. Here’s what Steve Teare had to say about the song:

“I wrote the song shortly after my grandmother had passed. I remember I had just driven back from South Carolina where the funeral was held and I was sitting on a West Philadelphia porch with my girlfriend for what seemed like hours. The weather had just recently begun to feel like Spring. And I actually felt quite happy as we sat there drinking spiked tea together. But soon, all of a sudden, I started to long for my grandmother deeply. I began to finalize the reality of not just her death, but all death. At the same time, I felt my love for this woman — the one sitting right there with me on the porch — strengthening intensely.

The song attempts to capture this emotional scene and memory.

The video to me is more about the community of friends in which Flat Mary Road is situated. Members of the band have known each other since high school, went to college together, and we’ve been in the same neighborhood more or less for almost a decade. We travel together; we dine often together; we’re lucky to be in close proximity to each other.”

Thoughts

“Porch Stasis” is a deeply introspective effort. Most clearly illustrated in Teare’s writing is the ascendance toward uncertainty through the course of the song. What begins as a mellow exploration of emotion, through what must be the wake of his Grandmother’s passing, accelerates into a distorted reality, and anything but inactivity or stasis.

Overlaid images may even represent the restlessness of one’s mind in grief, or at least how overwhelming existential questions can become. The eclectic guitar work leading up to the final minute of the song only drills home this message.

The lasting sentiments of FMR’s “Porch Stasis” may cover a lot of ground, but do speak to the complexity of what being human truly means. Whether your experience of their message is empathetic, or sympathetic, the result is a cue for your own personal reflection.

As a song, the instrumentation plays right into the story being told by Teare — after all, the story came before the melody for him. That is truly the beauty of this creation. But, it is not simply the circumstance which makes “Porch Stasis” a successful project. The meaningful blend of contemplation, followed by a spiral out equilibrium, bridged the gap between what could have been just a personal story, and what ends up being a rather universal creation.

Support

You can listen to Flat Mary Road’s January album, Driving With The Numen, on the band’s Bandcamp. To keep up with their news, you can find them here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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