Artist: C.K. Flach
Album: Empty Mansions
Provoking heartfelt emotions and inspiring profound ideas is one of the most vital responses musicians can elicit in their listeners, especially when they hope to encourage progressive thinking. Singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist C.K. Flach is one such artist who powerfully thrives on focusing on the turmoil of modern times in his songs, particularly his relatable struggles and triumphs. The Albany, New York-based folk-rock musician has releases his debut solo indie-alternative album, the alluringly contemplative ‘Empty Mansions,’ which he wrote and arranged almost entirely on his own.
The record enthrallingly features nine songs and one poem, which debate such contemporary concerns such as politics, racism, division and corruption through stories of love, loss, heartache and salvation. With many of his latest works rooted in the Americana style, and driven by soulful, alternative and folk pop undertone, Flach powerfully developed an indie rock sound that highlights his inspiring messages.
‘Empty Mansions’ begins with the emotionally and morally reflective song, ‘Lazarus,’ which is driven by an alluring acoustic and rock-infused guitar and captivating drums. The track, which captivatingly explores the pondering a person’s existence, tells of a woman who shares her secrets with the man she trusts, as she want to improve herself. Flach powerfully sings that he wants to help the woman, and assures her that she can maintain her life, despite her confession that she believes his existence will be better without her.
The folk-rock album then transitions into one of its best tracks, ‘Boxcar Dreaming,’ which is a soulful tribute to people who are determined to find the right direction for themselves, despite the difficult situations they’re in. Flach gracefully sings about how he wants to stay with the woman he loves, and watch their burdens disperse together, on the record’s first single, which is driven by a soulful piano, as well as a captivating melody and backup harmonies.
‘Tranquilized’ serves as the next passionate tune on Flach’s initial solo record. The singer effortlessly shared his relatable emotions through his enticing lyrics, as well as his guitar and strings, which emphasize how love is the strongest motivator of change. While his vocals are rugged at times throughout the song, it still sends a liberation message that anything is possible, and there is hope for the future, no matter what circumstances people are forced to contend with.
Another stunning contribution to ‘Empty Mansions’ is the poetic entry, ‘Munich,’ which reinforces the musician’s natural ability to tell an important story. The rhythmic lyrics sentimentally reflect on Flach’s reflection on a his childhood, during which time he wanted to appreciate his youth. Unfortunately, he had to contend with the sadness over some unfortunate events in his upbringing. He acknowledges that he feels lucky that he’s forgiving, and that he does miss his family, despite their hardships. Driven by an interesting use of the harmonica and drums, the singer also encourages listeners to help others in need, and points out that in doing so, they may help them in return.
The next track on the singer’s new album is ‘Calamity,’ which is driven by simple, but equally meaningful, lyrics and harmonica. The tune ponders life’s biggest challenges, even though Flach admits that he doesn’t want to rehash his most disastrous decisions; instead, he just wants to reflect on the more positive aspects of his life.
‘Empty Mansions’ then delves into a couple of tunes, including ‘The Officer’ and ‘Queen Caroline,’ that feature the robust side of Flach’s vocals. With an intriguing mix of the musician’s alternative rock and rock sides, including poignant guitars, he tells memorable stories that emphasize the consequences of choices people recklessly make.
The singer-songwriter’s enthralling record then delves into its indie-folk title track. The keyboard-driven ‘Empty Mansions’ powerfully chronicles Flach’s growing wariness of politics, and the struggles they pose on citizens as they struggle to survive. The musician grippingly points out that many people want guidance in their lives, as their heart have become hollow, due to the tragedies they experience.
The next entry on the album is the harmonica and guitar-driven ‘Machine Gun,’ which also serves as the project’s last song. The reflective and soulful tune ponders what drives people to commit the acts they do, and how people should respond to the lies they’ve been told. Flach also intriguingly notes how he hopes to preserve the American dream for everyone, especially so that no one is taken for granted.
‘Machine Gun’ interestingly leads the way into ‘Firmament,’ the poem Flach decided to include on the record. The artist notes how he hopes to fight oppression, and won’t be stopped in his mission. He also warns that false prophets spread prophesies that only fuel the growing discord and disconnect in society.
Evoking philosophical emotions and exhilarating ideas is one of the most important reactions musicians can elicit in their listeners, especially when they hope to inspire progressive thinking. Flach is one such singer, songwriter and instrumentalist who powerfully thrives on concentrating on the turmoil of contemporary times in his songs. On his alluringly contemplative debut solo album, ‘Empty Mansions,’ the folk-rock musician powerfully expresses his relatable struggles and triumphs in modern society.