If a Leaf falls in the forest, will anyone be able to hear it through the trees.
If winds of change gust through the Forest and that Leaf takes flight, will the flame of New Horizons keep it warm. Make it burn bright. Provide sight in the night.
Eagerly awaiting Flyleaf's third opus, their first new album in three years.
Tick tock. Tick tock...C'mon Mr. Clock...when will you strike 10:30:12am (October 30, 2012).
Encapsulation of Anticipation.
Tick tock. Tick tick tick...this sure isn't lickety-split.
I still remember the first time I heard (and simultaneously saw) Flyleaf. I had just moved into a new office in the TV Center in Hollywood and was setting up my Macbook. A co-worker forwarded me a link for a music video called "I'm So Sick" and strongly suggested I take a peek.
What happened next was extraordinary...
Time stood still. The power. The passion. The urgency. The performance. The purpose.
Numerous shows and events were ingested...my favorites; @SXSW in 2008 (at La Zona Rosa), an acoustic performance at Bar Sinister (in Hollywood) and a private show at Hot Topic corporate.
Over the years, much merch was purchased, a plethora of friendly Hellos were exchanged at meet n greets and a babbling brook of words, poetry, prose and photos were strewn about the Matrix and the Gauntlet and Kik Axe Music.
Faith in Flyleaf was Full.
And then the Clock struck 10:22:12am. October 22, 2012.
I will remember where I was when I read the news that singer Lacey Sturm decided to depart Flyleaf to continue her journey onto new horizons...a random hotel lobby in Somerville, MA. Free wi-fi. CNN Election coverage on the TV.
I blurted the word "Whoa" in to the silence of mid-afternoon. Time stood still. That frozen moment lingered.
My eager anticipation to hear the new album was now awash in mixed emotions.
I would now be listening to Lacey Sturm's Swan Song with Flyleaf. As if expectations weren't already high enough. How could it ever live up to the end of a mystical 10-year era?
The five members of Flyleaf (Lacey, Pat Seals, Jared Hartmann, James Culpepper, Sameer Bhattacharya) have an undeniable chemistry.
Much like the original line-ups of Guns N' Roses, Van Halen and, yes, Paramore (don't get me started on eager hesitation for their fourth album), the sum of the parts makes it an infinite whole. Remove one spoke and the wheel still spins but on which road will it go.
1000 days of waiting since Memento Mori and I procrastinated and procrastinated to listen to New Horizons. I had heard the title track and the song "Call You Out" and, of course "Broken Wings," an older track that the band re-recorded at their fan's behest.
Would listening to it make the Truth too real. Would the weight of this new reality congeal.
I press play.
And I'm immediately sad. And then a rush of glad washes away the sad. And the battle of emotions swirl through song after song. Like listening to a posthumous album by your favorite artist.
When Lacey sings "You know, it breaks my heart" in 'Bury your Heart,' it's a mighty weight soaked with gravity.
But setting personal feelings aside, New Horizons is a consummate masterpiece.
A pièce de résistance masterfully crafted by human chemistry amidst a heavenly registry. It's a fully realized work of art.
New Horizons is easily Flyleaf's strongest album (though I will always be partial to the relationship I have with their debut). Recording in the heat of the moment (six quick weeks with long-time producer Howard Benson, who instinctively kept the spontanaity fairly intact), it's a grand statement from a band percolating at their peak powers.
"Saving Grace" soars. "Green Heart" roars. "Great Love" adores. "Stand" implores. "Broken Wings" explores the sores.
"Call You Out" would hold its own in a cage-match with the best Bron-Yr-Aur stomps of Led Zeppelin, "Jesus Christ Poses" of Soundgarden or the burly Sandmen of Metallica. It's bad to the bone. And it's roaming for a home.
And then there's the beginning of the end...the atmospheric, expansive fuse igniting "Fire Fire". The power. The passion. The urgency. The performance. The purpose. Its vitality beckons the bride of Immortality.
As I listen to the glory of Fire Fire again and again, a curious phenomenon begins to transpire.
Time does not stand still. The weight of the Truth is not dire. My consciousness ascends higher and higher.
The Flight of the Leaf gave wings to a Swan on a Wire.
1. Fire Fire
2. New Horizons
3. Call You Out
4. Cage On The Ground
5. Great Love
6. Bury Your Heart
8. Saving Grace
10. Green Heart
11. Broken Wings
Will Flyleaf continue their flight?
Yes. Singer Kristen May (formerly of Vedera) will join the boys for the New Horizons Tour, and, perhaps, become a permanent member.