The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra – Escapements EP

With such a mouthful of a name, it’s easy to expect that the Escapements EP is going to offer up something big in either sound or substance. But like the group’s easily confused moniker, the songs here are the polar opposite of what one might expect. Really, if you need to give potential fans a pronunciation key so that they can discuss your music with friends I wonder what demographic you’re really trying to attract. So why get indignant when people interested in your band mispronounce or mistype the name? I get that there is no “i” – it’s Tourbillon not Tourbillion, but it’s an easy mistake to make, and the sheer frustration over trying to wrap one’s brain around all of this is enough to make you throw your hands up and walk away. Is this what separates the hip from the not? Maybe this East Coaster just doesn’t understand Los Angeles.

Finding five firmly pop songs on Escapements was a surprise, so much so that it’s hard to compare this group to anything else. The opening track “Don’t Be Fooled” is quite lovely. The boy-girl vocals work well together, and the whole song flows along at a nice pace. Nothing too in your face, nothing disarming, just three and a half minutes of dreamy pop. It’s a solid song, though, and it works nicely alongside “In a Dream”, the other go-to song on this EP. “In a Dream” is semi-psychedelic pop – very old school sounding – but it’s the lyrics that set this one apart.

The other three tracks on Escapements don’t deliver much oomph to my ears. There’s some odd made-up band back story interlaced throughout the EP’s lyrics that seems unnecessary. It doesn’t add any sense of dark noir, despite the talk of curses and being on the run. I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps I just don’t “get” the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. Hey, it happens. I imagine those who live for dreamy pop songs might swoon for this band. The musicianship is solid and there are definite good points about Escapements, it’s just not my cup of tea.