Local Current Blog

Song of the Day: Flavor Crystals

There’s been no shortage of psych-rock bands in the Twin Cities since the last Flavor Crystals record in 2008.

In that time, Moon Glyph was born and unleashed some of the community’s most heralded records (see: Dante and The Lobster and Velvet Davenport). Magic Castles and Daughters Of The Sun gained considerable fanbases both here and across the country, bolstered by appearances at Psych Fest in Austin, Texas. And other bands sprung up on the circuit that didn’t necessarily fit the classic genre denotation but employed some similar stylistic choices like Fire In The Northern Firs. Of course, the list goes on and on: The Chambermaids, Gospel Gossip, Chatham Rise…

For many people who love this type of music, Flavor Crystals are regarded as a band that really kicked off the modern psych rock movement in the metroplex. Their first two records, On Plastic and Ambergris, are now considered two of the strongest local records by aficionados who really keep up with the scene. But for most of us, Flavor Crystals has quietly drifted under the spotlight, and attention from their hometown hasn’t necessarily followed the critical praise.

Then Flavor Crystals disappeared for over four years. They still played out but recordings were hard to come by. That physical absence made the announcement of Three all the more celebratory. An ambitious project that clocks in at 72 minutes if you get the vinyl version, it was recorded over the span of two years but has most likely been stewing for much longer. As stated in a previous Local Radar post on the blog, bandmembers Josh Richardson and Nat Stensland aren’t even sure who played some of the parts on this record, the result of years of jam sessions and demos that were reworked time and again.

What we get in the end is an enthralling reflection of human introspection. It’s a deeply personal and meditative album, one which should be experienced with a good pair of headphones. This is the third release in a series that has seen Flavor Crystals expand, mature, and refine their sound. They’re a local gem that many more should know about.

Three is out now via the great local record label MPLS LTD.

There’s a release show for the album Saturday, June 16 at the Kitty Cat Klub with Pony Trash and Chatham Rise in support.

Download “Mirror Chop” from our Song of the Day page and subscribe to the podcast while you’re at it. Flavor Crystals will be our in-studio guest on the July 15 episode of The Local Show.