If you've been a regular reader, you might recall how I raved about The Flat Five. I believe I posted three times about this supergroup of sorts from Chicago since they released their debut in 2016, which by the way, was my favorite record of that year. While crawling around the YouTube rat hole, I found no less than 50 live covers from the band, some of which I posted HERE. Some of those covers were originally recorded by the Free Design, who All Music describes as a "jazzy pop band of the 1960's with psych pop sunshine coarsing through its veins."
I'm okay with that.
I realize sunshine pop sometimes comes very close to becoming easy listening, but after listening to about two dozen Free Design tracks, I am totally sold. These guys were something else, however you categorize them. I was also very pleased to see Todd Rundgren call them amazing in a recent interview for Reverb.
All that said, I have posted some tracks for your listening pleasure, or quite possibly displeasure, though I hope that is not the case, because I am in love with these guys. I am a sucker for harmony, and I can, more than occasionally, be a real sap. I would blame getting older, but I have always been affected by this type of song. I mean, "You Are My Sunshine?" But just listen to what they do with it.
Me aside, the arrangements here are stellar. Just check out the tune at the top, "Bubbles." Can sunshine pop be hot? I think so. "Bubbles" is hot!
Free Design is not for everyone. I get that. But, right now, I am binge listening to their double anthology and finding a lot to love. I am impressed, to say the least.