Gloom Balloon

After an extensive  13-month tour, Ames, IA pop band The Poison Control Center were ready for some time off.  It was during this period of musical hibernation that The Poison Control Center founder Patrick Tape Fleming found himself slipping into a deep depression with no creative outlet for his musical ideas — but then he began painting.  His first piece was titled “Gloom Balloon” and so the seeds were sown for what would become his musical and artistic salvation.  But even before that, his depression has gotten so bad and so thorough that his mental state had left him on the verge of suicide.  It was then that he heard of the death of his musical hero Olivia Tremor Control’s Bill Doss.

And so Fleming decided to live and honor Doss through his own music as Gloom Balloon, which he does on his latest collection of songs called You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster/Fix The Sunshine Pts. 1-7 (An Ode To Bill Doss) (out now on Maximum Ames Records).  Bringing producer/musician Christopher Ford (aka Christopher The Conquered) and string arranger H.D. Harmsen on board for the album, Fleming creates songs that resonant with a classical tint while also employing a more modern electronic approach — acoustic guitars sit side-saddle with hip hop beats and sax runs meld together with fractured spoken word narratives.

For the video to album cut “She Was The One That Got Away,” Fleming and Ford created an abstract black and white clip where two women stand in a field, one holding a gun to her own head, while the other slowly removes her clothes.  We eventually get a glimpse of a man running toward them from the distance.  The odd visuals pair up nicely with the song’s saxophone trills and curiously rapped verses while leading us willingly into the catchy pop chorus.  It’s hard not to try to lend the video some deeper meaning, but its purposefully obtuse approach to the medium keeps us at bay, with only our best guess concerning the thought behind the clip — it’s a Rorschach test for music lovers and our own interpretation of the intent heightens our level of emotional connectivity to the song.  It’s a fascinating juxtaposition of anticipation and offbeat experimentation, and Gloom Balloon wouldn’t have it any other way.

Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere  the video for “She Was The One That Got Away,” taken from Gloom Balloon’s debut 7″ single/album.