The Flying Change is the songwriting and performance vehicle for New York-based songwriter Sam Jacobs. The name The Flying Change was inspired by the poetry of family friend and Pulitzer-prize winner, Henry Taylor, the college roommate of Sam’s father.
Pain is a Reliable Signal draws deeply from the endless medical journey into which Jacobs and his family have been thrust. Four years ago, Sam's wife began experiencing severe sciatic nerve pain, leading to the discovery of latent spinal birth defects. A neurosurgeon at Georgetown Hospital performed two experimental surgeries. Not only did neither alleviate her sciatica; in fact, they created new debilitating back pain. Further consultations led the couple to Rochester, Minnesota, hoping for a Hail Mary cure from the Mayo Clinic. Instead, doctors informed them they knew of no remedy nor treatment. His wife continues to suffer from physical pain, her condition interrupting the future they’d intended and the plains they’d laid. Pain relives this story in familiar themes of love, loss and reckoning, spoken in words fluid and incisive.
Jacobs enlisted friend, acclaimed songwriter, producer and award-winning film composer Paul Brill to guide and shape the recording. Together, they assembled a stellar band of accomplished musicians; recorded live in two takes by master engineer Robert L. Smith (David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, etc.), the album features performances by Rob Burger (Iron and Wine, Lucinda Williams) Bill Dobrow (Sean Lennon, The Black Crowes), Amber Rubarth (Paper Raincoat), Antoine Silverman, Anja Wood, Matt Ray, Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Saturday Night Live Band), Peter, Stan Harrison (Radiohead) Dan Levine (They Might Be Giants) and others.
Brill and Jacobs gathered these musicians to create a sound they've dubbed "landscape pop". Says Jacobs, “during early editing sessions, Paul went through the songs with a red pen and we kept editing and editing until they were as tight as possible. At the same time, we wanted every moment to be incredibly vivid. Small fragments of melody and emotion." These moments are everywhere on the record, from the inverted swells of the pedal steel on the opener "Broken Bow" to the swirling ghostlike sax solo on "Hold My Heartache."
While performing regularly in New York, blogging about his take on the future of the music industry and supporting his wife, Jacobs continues to grow as a writer and has been harvesting new songs by the batch. Stay tuned for much more from Sam Jacobs and The Flying Change in the near future.