Arlo Leach recorded this four-song demo EP shortly after graduating from college, and the recording quality is about as rough as you'd expect it to be. The sound is clear and crisp, but the mix is indiscriminate and cluttered, almost as if recorded live. The light folk arrangements are appealing but somewhat piecemeal, making heavy use of easily obtainable percussive instruments like congas, bongos, and guiro. Leach's vocals -- particularly the harmony vocals -- are unsteady and occasionally a little off-key. Nevertheless, Leach clearly demonstrates significant talent as a songwriter. All four songs are catchy and engaging, centered around well-constructed, breezy folk hooks. The lyrics, too, are clever and often whimsical. "Icarus" is the lyrical standout, defiantly exploring the notion that several of the most famous tragic endings in history and literature -- Vincent Van Gogh's suicide, the crash landings of Icarus and Amelia Earheart -- were merely cynical historical distortions. The musicianship is solid as well; Leach manages the generally simple acoustic picking and strumming with skill, and Aaron Kassover's cheerful and rangy bass lends extra dimension to the sunny love songs "Cherry Necklace" and "Star." Flying is not a dazzling recording debut for Leach, but it is certainly an enjoyable one.
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AllMusic Review by Evan Cater