Balloon Ride Fantasy‘s self titled album has been a long time in the making. The band has been teasing the album for at least two years now. For good reason though, when your band is as complex as this one and everything is on a DIY basis, it takes a long time. Recording, mixing, studio time, vocals, a limited budget all can pose as obstacles.
The sextet isn’t like your typical pop/rock band that sings about love, heartache or rebellion, their music is like their name suggests; fantasy. They have songs about a “Unicenticorn,” a “Unicorn Fantasy,” and of course “Balloon Ride Fantasy.” Although, there isn’t a particular theme to the album, keyboardist and guitarist, Phil Conley jokes, “I think most of the songs are about sexy robots.”
“Species,” is the opening track on the 11 song album and also the first single released earlier this month and understandably so. The synth driven song has an MGMT and Phoenix flavor to it. It is a catchy tune with a perfect blend of lead vocals from Chris Olszewski and backing vocals from Bethany Berkstresser. It really sets the tone for the entire album.
“The Anchor and The Sail,” might be the hidden gem in this collection. It starts out with a subtle drumming and goes into Olszewski singing “You are the wave on this cold ocean, you are the wave thats holding me down.” Eventually breaking into the best part of the song, belting out “Why Don’t you just take your time and We’ll be here…” The song is relatable in the sense that we can all feel held down weather it is a relationship, friends, or work, but Balloon Ride Fantasy cleverly simplifies a topic and makes it about an anchor in an ocean.
Another brilliant track is “Advance With the Mayor.” The song forces you to close your eyes and envision plasticine faces bowing to the Mayor in the early part before chanting out the chorus and later finishing off with a haunting voice stating “It all comes back to you in the end.”
“The Silver Key,” is the heaviest track on the album beginning with a mischievous synth beat, and Olszewski hissing out the vocals. The song changes directions half way through showing off Balloon Ride Fantasy’s mastery of song arrangement.
“PG Sex Scene,” is a band favorite. “It’s got a chill vibe to it and a fun guitar part to play live,” said Conley.
The song “Balloon Ride Fantasy,” closes out the album. This is an anthemic song, where the group really paints a perfect picture of what a balloon ride fantasy might be like. The song closes out asking, “Do you believe in Fantasies, do you believe in us?” Finishing off with a sick guitar riff and drum work.
The album is an easy listen, one that could be put on repeat and heard over and over again. Each track is unique and offers a look inside the bands fantasy world. Balloon Ride Fantasy is one of the few bands that are able to pull off the sci-fi genre in an ingenious way.
You can pick up a copy of the album this Saturday during the bands album release show at Pittsburgh Winery with special guests Wicked Chief. Show starts at 9 and limited tickets available. This will sell out so don’t wait too long!
Balloon Ride Fantasy Members
Chris Olszewski -lead vocalist and guitarist
Phil Conley -synth and guitar
Brad Schneider -bass
Bethany Berkstresser -backing vocals and percussion
Jordan Wood -keys and synth
Brian Ganch -drums and sampling