Among the cooler aspects of Bandcamp—besides the ability to stream music and buy vinyl on a single page—is that many musicians have used the service to re-release old material, often for free. This tactic has been especially beneficial for some artists in North Carolina. Heads on Sticks offered two archival EPs before releasing 2010’s Mocking Bird, establishing local love that helped jumpstart the fledgling project. Ashrae Fax—the once -defunct electro-pop outfit that preceded the folkish oddities of Durham’s Filthybird—offered their 2003 swan song Static Crash a few years ago. Today, they’re touring behind a reissue from popular Brooklyn imprint Mexican Summer. In this instance, paying it forward has occasionally paid off.
It’s easy to envision similar luck befalling Opening Flower Happy Bird. Between 2005 and 2008, the duo of Brian Collins and Matthew Park—who now guides the sludgy pop outfit Airstrip—created four splendid recordings, merging airy pop with sturdy electronics. Recently, OFHB posted the entirety of their catalog to Bandcamp, making it available to stream or download.
The highlight is 2007’s Endings. Working through longer songs, one of which approaches nine minutes, the duo patiently assembles far-flung elements—skittering drum machines, keyboard static, reverb-drenched harmonies—into a luxurious drift . Fans of Park’s subsequent efforts will find plenty to enjoy: These skeletal rhythms would later inform Veelee‘s taut minimalism. The disorienting melodies appear with more muscle during Airstrip’s more restrained moments.
More than a point on one dude’s artistic journey, OFHB were an unheralded treasure, one that new fans might now have a chance to embrace. A physical reissue would also be appreciated. Any takers?