Band Of The Week // FLORA CASH
Indie pop duo Flora Cash take the world in their stride as they release their newest album Baby, It’s Okay.
The world can be a difficult place to navigate at times, and Swedish indie pop duo Flora Cash acknowledge this in their newest album Baby, It’s Okay. However, there’s a more positive takeaway and a light at the end of the tunnel as they demonstrate how the power of love can be used as a guidance. The duo themselves are certainly living examples of this idea; the husband-and-wife duo emerged when Minneapolis-native Cole Randall uploaded his music to Soundcloud, catching the attention of Swedish-based Shpresa Lleshaj, and from introductory Facebook messages, phone calls and Skype sessions, their eventual union developed.
The tracks on Baby, It’s Okay shed light on the vulnerabilities of the couple, providing an unfiltered look into their inner thoughts. The insight provided creates an intimacy and affinity between the listener and the duo, as they sing of deeply personal feelings that nearly everyone has experienced at some point in their lives and thus can relate to.
Touched by the depth of emotions underlying the album, we got in touch with the duo to find out more about their newest album and the process behind it.
What’s a motto you live by?
We actually have 5 rules we live by and that we ask our team to live by as well, at least as it’s related to their work with us. They’re as follows:
Rule #1: Don’t be a dick
Rule #2: Reward Enthusiasm
Rule #3: Don’t Limit Your Thinking
Rule #4: Don’t Present a Problem Without a Solution
Rule #5: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
We consider rule #3 to be the most important.
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?
If you could set Baby, It’s Okay to a movie, which movie would it be the soundtrack to and why?
Requiem for a Dream. The movie has a little bit of every emotion but leans toward the dark side. That’s kind of how we see this record.
Did you come across any surprises whilst recording the album, whether pleasant or unpleasant?
The biggest challenge for us is that with 3 years between this record and our previous record, Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine) (2017), it was really difficult to narrow down the tracks we wanted to work on and include. We had about 3 albums worth of material that was mostly fleshed out but needed to narrow this down to about 12 tracks. We’re really happy with the final track list and feel that these 12 tracks tell a cohesive story.
What’s the line that resonates with you most from the album and why?
“Love is in the small things.” That line reminds us of a simple truth but one that is easy to forget. Big, exciting moments are great but usually it’s the small moments, the little looks that really stick with us. It’s good to be present and appreciate things even when they’re seemingly unremarkable.
Are there any behind-the-scenes stories that you can share with us?
For A While is special to us because we actually wrote and recorded it while we were living in London way back in 2013. It was a weird time for us because it was only about a year after we first met and we were not yet married, so immigration and being able to be together was complicated. After living together in Stockholm for 6 months, we moved to the UK because it is one of the few European countries located outside of the “Schengen zone.” We rented out a tiny bedroom in Southwark that was usually freezing cold. We walked everywhere because we couldn’t afford to use even public transportation and we went to as many open-mics as possible because we could barely schedule gigs back then (no one knew who we were). We were almost entirely alone together for those 3 months. We wrote For A While in about 25 minutes and recorded it in that tiny, freezing bedroom. It captures an era for us and has a lot of emotional weight.
Drawing inspiration from the album title, what are the things that remind you things are okay when you’re feeling a bit under the weather?
A few things. Most importantly: we have each other and we provide that solid foundation for the other. Secondly: we reflect on all the struggles and challenges we’ve already faced; all the anxiety and stress and loss we’ve already encountered and got through and remind ourselves that if we could get through all of that, we can get through the current dark time. Thirdly: that lots of people seem to connect with our work and we owe it to our fans to keep our chins up and soldier on.
What are the main messages you want listeners to take away from the album?
Everything has a silver lining. You’re more powerful than you give yourself credit for. Perseverance pays off. Love isn’t always pretty but it’s worth it.
The album is quite a personal piece of work; did you ever find it difficult to open up and put yourself in a position of vulnerability during the process?
We used to find it challenging but the wonderful people who listen to our music have been so vulnerable and honest with us that it’s actually given us the strength and determination to be as honest and real in our work as possible. We owe people that and people know when you’re putting a filter on things so there’s no point in insulting their intelligence. Plus at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all experience the same kind of shit to varying degrees; so the least we can do is provide an outlet for that stuff.
You touch upon the invasive thoughts that can enter our heads in I Wasted You; do you have any advice for anyone who is in the same position and experiencing the feelings that are being sung about?
Our advice is pretty simple: thoughts are basically figments of your imagination. Don’t give them so much power; use the positive stuff and throw away the negative stuff. Who has the time or mental energy to let invasive thoughts rule their awareness? It’s easier said than done but it is possible.
What are the things you miss the most about home?
Simple routines like going to the local grocery store or being able to make plans with friends for Friday night. And family of course. But there is a lot of reward to leaving home and we try to achieve as much balance as possible.
And finally, what does music mean to you?
It’s pretty much the only thing that brings us a semblance of satisfaction. Music is the essence of meaning. It doesn’t “mean” something so much as it embodies the notion of “meaning.” It’s universal, powerful and life would be so much shittier without it.