To write and record their fourth album Fly By Wire, the members of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin returned to the attic where they made their debut full-length Broom. But first they took a 5,000 mile detour. After the Boris Yeltsin Foundation in Yekaterinburg, Russia extended an invitation to the band, Phil Dickey, Will Knauer, and Jonathan James spent a whirlwind six days in their namesake’s home country this past January: meeting with Yelstin’s close friends and personal translator (who gifted them 7 bottles of expensive Russian vodka) and performing at an elementary school after the U.S. consulate named them cultural ambassadors for a day.
The trip concluded with a set at Old Nu Rock, making SSLYBY the first American group to play at Russia’s largest winter rock festival. Rejuvenated by the sights they saw and people they met, the three musicians returned home eager to start work on a new full-length. “The whole experience of going to Russia renewed my belief that songs and words have power,” explains Dickey. “I wanted to make a record before that feeling went away.”
Like kids in the summer who have nothing else to do but hang out and play music all day, the members of SSLYBY spent up to twelve hours a day working on the songs that would become Fly By Wire. With James assuming the role of engineer, Dickey and Knauer wrote lyrics and guitar parts on a third floor windowsill and recorded vocals in the staircase. This laid-back approach to recording is clearly evident in the album’s warm, welcoming sound. From the scuzzy-paired-with-sunny guitar rhythms on handclap-aided first single “Nightwater Girlfriend” to the mid-tempo electro-pop of “Harrison Ford,” the songs on Fly By Wire are just plain fun to listen to.