They tour in a van and sleep on couches. They have a strange affinity for cats and Pokemon. They’re called Flashlights and they are a rather spectacular band from the decidedly unspectacular Brevard County, Florida. What began as a solo acoustic project for 24-year-old singer/guitarist Terry Caudill in 2007 has added various members from the local punk scene before settling on their current lineup of Ian Turner-Sanders on guitar, Will Powell on bass and Melissa Hopkins on drums.
They made a pretty good record in 2011 called I’m Not Alone and now they’ve just finished a new one. It’s called Bummer Summer and it’s even better. Produced by Scott Hutchison and Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit, it’s full of songs about dead end jobs and lousy living conditions, heartbreaks and hangovers. And, of course, there are also songs about cats. Creaky and hissy, you would be forgiven for confusing it with early Archers of Loaf, Superchunk or Built to Spill. Caudill’s voice has been favorably compared to the likes of Lou Barlow and Jeff Mangum. Bummer Summer lives up to its name but it also manages to find hilarity in humility and beauty in the bleak.