Stuck in a rut after the demise of the band, guitarist/singer Ross Flournoy came across an open invitation by NPR Monitor Mix blogger Carrie Brownstein (ex-Sleater-Kinney) to write and record a song in a weekend. As NPR wrote recently, “Carrie’s challenge turned out to be just the excuse he needed to get busy.”
Flournoy turned out Under the Gun, a clever piece of writing that flips Brownstein’s challenge into a metaphor for the struggles he was facing at the time: “I apologize / my life’s become an island / and now I’m feeling under the gun.”
And so Apex Manor was born. Joined by friend Adam Vine, Flournoy conquered his writer’s block and cranked out more than 25 songs, a creative outpouring that will result in the full-length album, The Year of Magical Drinking, due out Jan. 25 on Merge.
The Broken West will undoubtedly be missed, but Under the Gun shows the promise of a worthy successor.