Empty Mansions is the first solo project for C.K. Flach. This is a collection of true Americana folk music. The songs touch on a variety of topics including racism, the confusion of uncertain times and the overall human spirit.
“Boxcar Dreaming” was by far one of my favorite tunes of the album. It was a soulful tribute to searching for direction in tough times. It reminds me of a classic ‘60s tune with a bit of a modern twist. The imagery of traveling by rail was an interesting metaphor for that feeling of uneasiness when you are just plain lost.
Flach's voice and passion were showcased in “Tranquilized.” Again his solo talents and the ability to share so much emotion through his words came out in this song. The message was simple but very relatable. “Munich” would change the pace of the set just a bit, but again the focus is the story and pure poetry of the lyrics. From both of these songs it is very apparent that Flach understands the art of telling a great story.
“Calamity” was another song I quite enjoyed listening to. The mix of the familiar nighttime sounds with the types of lyrics you might hear around a campfire hit this one home. Even something as simple as including the harmonica added to the song. The subject of the song was a bit sad but the overall song was enjoyable. “The Officer” would also see an interesting addition of unique sounds that added just enough extra to the story for the song.
The sultry “Queen Caroline” was an unexpected addition to the more folk feel of the set. Flach has a talent of telling some pretty dark stories without them feeling dark or negative. It almost feels like a late night ghost story session your favorite uncle would tell during those long summer nights.
Overall the album is an impressive mix of stories and meaningful lyrics. Each one is a stand- alone poem, but together they form almost a love story to changing times. There is a feeling of despair but also hope. The lyrics combine beautifully with every aspect of the music from the small details to the guitar back.
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