Holiday Flyer - Try Not to Worry

(DRL327-1: 708527032718/DRL327-3: )
Release date: 02/14/2019
Genre: Indiepop

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Remastered. Limited edition of 500 black vinyl LP with download including 11 bonus tracks selected by the artists. Debut album originally released 1995. First time on vinyl. Liner notes by Jack Rabid.

Quiet Was the New Loud.

If Kristen Hersh was right when she opined, as grunge ruled following Nirvana’s Nevermind, “Quiet is the new loud,” then among the finest examples in the ’90s American underground was greater Sacramento’s unsung, modest, charming Holiday Flyer, who prolifically released four accomplished albums and some singles/EPs from 1994-2001. Starting as a sibling duo, they were even more spare—the best word to describe John and Katie Conley-Haley’s elegant approach and stirringly heartfelt harmonies—than sublime East Coast spinART and Slumberland label groups they were compared to. With just a guitar and intertwining voices, they avoided folk and L.A. Canyon pop, preferring a light, deep ambiance more akin to exquisite Brits The Smiths (of “Back to the Old House”) and Everything But the Girl, the fresh-faced sweetness of The Bluebells or Prefab Sprout, and the blithe breeziness of ‘60s AM sunshine pop and Brill Building beguilers.

That early simplicity and sincere warmth, belying sneaky depth and winning tunes, dominates this collection. As heard, Katie would eventually add slight percussion; that added texture doubled after multi-instrumentalist Verna Brock joined. And though a crippling failure to tour their four albums left HF more obscure than peers similarly kicking against grungy, testosterone-fueled noise, some New York, San Francisco, and L.A. gigs and their inclusion on key compilations earned admirers. Take it from acknowledged super-fan Brandt Fundak, whose epiphany began with 1996’s classic, eye-opening Pop American Style sampler: “The moment I heard [HF’s] “Every Once in a While” I was in love. Here was a simple song, stripped bare and sung sweetly, even though the song was a melancholic song of longing. What could be better for a boy with a broken heart?”

As the group progressed they morphed into a full-fledged, standard indie-pop quintet with equally great results, until their 2002 close paved the way for the equally stalwart California Oranges and Sinking Ships, and, these days, two absolutely wonderful groups, Soft Science and Desario, still in Sacramento. But you can discern the captivating loveliness in what the Conleys started two decades ago, and Holiday Flyer remains a pleasant memory for all. Recalls Katie, “I feel enveloped in sentimentally when I listen to these HF songs now. They remind me of the excitement and fun John, Verna, and I had along the way in creating this music.” Concurs Brock, “It’s really cool to hear the growth of the band over the four albums and other releases we did. The melancholy sweetness continues to influence my own songwriting, and it wasn't just the music; it was the friendships that went hand in hand—memories that I still treasure. These songs will always remain in my head and in my heart.”

Now they will in yours, too.

—Jack Rabid, editor and publisher, Big Takeover Magazine, June 22, 2017

LP tracklist:

1. Everyday I Get to See You
2. Is it Hard to Stay Away?
3. Runaround
4. Can We Overcome This?
5. Especially the Ones Without
6. Secondhand
7. Count My Steps Home
8. Lost at Sea
9. Happy Hour Friends
10. Wrap the Covers Up Over My Head
11. Let Go
12. Weigh on Me
13. If I Can’t See Through
14. I Didn’t Wish for You to Be Wrong

Download only LP bonus tracks:

15. Snowballing (Fingerpaint Records 7", 1994)
16. Roll Those Eyes Over Here (Fingerpaint Records 7", 1994)
17. Her Star (Fingerpaint Records 7", 1994)
18. Halo (Various - Follow the Bouncing Ball, Ba Da Bing, CD, 1996)
19. Every Once in a While (Various - Pop American Style, March, CD, 1996)
20. Am I Growing Up? (You Make Us Go, Philter Records (Japan), CD, 1996)
21. You Don't Know Me (Various - Darla 100, 4xCD, 2000)
22. Your Secret's Safe With Me (Previously unreleased)
23. Saturday (Various - Mon Ami, A Silver Girl Collection, Silver Girl, CS, 1995)
24. Never Know What to Say (You Make Us GoPhilter Records (Japan), CD, 1996)
25. I Just Keep Falling Away (Various - Lemon Lime Vol. 1, SpinArt, CD, 1995)

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