By: Charlie Daffron
The first time I saw flipturn was election day 2016. They were technically the first “non-punk” band I ever saw live. Even back then, sitting at a table in Rocky’s Piano Bar, I could tell they were something special. Since then, I’ve seen almost every Gainesville show they’ve ever played. If I had to guess, I would say I’ve seen them at least 20 times, if not more. It takes a damn good reason for me to skip a flipturn show.
What really drew me in was the band’s chemistry. In the last year-and-a-half, I’ve seen them play to five people and I’ve seen them play to 500, but the one thing that has always remained the same is their awesome chemistry.You can tell that they’re all friends and they love what they do. This translates into a live performance that’s energetic, passionate, and fun as hell, both for the audience and the band themselves.
I used to always struggle to get my friends to come to shows with me, mostly because a lot of the bands I like scare the shit out of them. But, flipturn was always one band that I could convince them to see without fail.
I would always show them songs from flipturn’s first EP, Heavy Colors, or the band’s original first single, “Cartoon Head” to get them to come with me. The problem was, as much as I enjoyed these recordings, I didn’t feel like they captured the spirit of what it was like to actually see flipturn live. After extensively listening to the band’s sophomore EP, Citrona I can finally say I’ve found something that really captures the band’s unique essence.
I heard someone say once, “Music is what you make of it.” The only people who can actually tell you the true meaning of these songs are the band, but I’m going to try to do my best to interpret each song and tell you what they mean to me.
The album opens with a two-minute instrumental track called “Fletcher”. This song serves as a great buildup into the rest of the EP. It starts simply, with just the sounds of rain. Then, slowly the rest of the instruments start to come in. Then without missing a beat, the band launches into “Six Below”, one of my personal favorite tracks.
To me, “Six Below” is a song about dealing with mental health issues. The song’s lyrics talk about trying to escape the things you keep bottled up inside. As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, these lyrics resonated with me.
Now I know you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh god, that sounds bleak.” I think the song is quite the opposite. The message of the song feels a little more optimistic with the chorus line, “So live long enough to tell your sons things you learned when you were young.”
The next song is “Churches”. This song was always a favorite of mine whenever the band played it live, so I was very happy to find out that it was the EP’s leading single. I wasn’t disappointed when I finally heard the studio version of the song, it sounded like everything I wanted it to.
The song kind of reflects my idea that religion has become distorted in today’s society because people only look out for themselves. I think one of the songs messages is that you can find peace and inspiration in other places that aren’t a church. The line, “Well I found my church in a hotel parking lot” really helps drive this point home.
Of course, there’s also everyone’s favorite chorus line, “In America, it’s hysteria” Come to any flipturn show and I guarantee they’ll have the crowd shouting along to that line at the top of their lungs.
After “Churches” ends, there’s a short interlude called “Jasmine”. Right after it ends, “August”, another fan favorite from their live sets is up next. “August” is a song about reminiscing over a past love. The song’s lyrics affectionately recall the experience, without getting trapped in the same songwriting clichés that songs like this tend to fall into. In other words, the song is well written, enjoyable, and before long the chorus will have you singing along!
The next song was a surprise to me. “Hippies” is the only song that I had never heard the band play live, so when I first saw the track list for the EP last Friday when it was released, I was excited to hear one that I didn’t know yet. “Hippies” takes a more light-hearted, whimsical tone and it’s a lot of fun to listen to. I dare you to try not to smile at least a little bit, when the chorus starts, and you hear, “You were such a fucking hippie” I’ve come back to this song a lot since the first time I listened to the EP, and I still enjoy it every time.
The final song on the EP is “Nickel”. I’ll admit, the first time I heard the band play this song live I wasn’t totally sold on it. Since then, it’s grown on me a lot and I really enjoyed the studio version on the EP. The song is about struggling to make it in the world and how so many people put in so much work, give up so much of themselves, only to receive nothing back in return. My favorite line in the song is from the bridge when lead singer Dillion Basse says, “I’d rather be drunk or out of my mind than trade my soul for nickels and dimes”
Whether you’re and old flipturn fan or a new one, Citrona makes for a great listen! There was never a moment in the EP where I found myself not paying attention or spacing off (which is a problem I tend to have with a lot of other bands in this genre). Each member of the band brings something to the table and the result is a collection of great sounding, well written, and super catchy songs that really capture flipturn’s infectious energy. Flipturn has once again managed to blow all my expectations out of the water, and hopefully before long I’ll be writing about a full-length record by the band, not just an EP.
To put it simply, I really liked Citrona and if you’re reading this I think you will to!