Flipturn: Summery Sound, Shadowy Glow

Fast becoming a festival favorite – with performances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, and other destination events last year – Florida indie-rock outfit flipturn has won over more and more fans with their warm vibes and high-energy live show.

Currently on the second leg of their headlining tour in support of their critically-acclaimed debut album, Shadowglow, (released last August) flipturn has hit the road hard this month, stopping at The Pyramid Scheme Feb. 16, and playing nearly every single day this month, before finishing their tour back in Florida with a set at this year’s Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival on March 5.

“I do think living and growing up in Florida had somewhat of an influence on our sound and perhaps gives it a ‘summery’ feel at times,” flipturn lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Dillon Basse told Revue. “It is the sunshine state, so when we’re writing or listening back to ideas, it’s usually in a summery climate.”

Even though they’re not excited to experience winter weather for the first time while touring, the young five-piece is looking forward to making new memories and having new experiences after growing up together in the small town of Fernandina Beach in Northeastern Florida, where Basse, bassist Madeline Jarman, and lead guitarist Tristan Duncan formed the band back in 2015 while still in high school.

“We just moved from our hometown this month to the neighboring big city, Jacksonville,” Jarman said. “We like sticking together as a unit, and we’re best friends with each other. I think that bit can be attributed to us being from a smaller town. After our tours end, I love going home to Florida because it’s where all of our families are, and it’s like a nice warm blanket of familiarity. We experience so much on the road, so it’s nice just to go back home to see loved ones and try to get back into our normal daily routines.”

Formed in Jarman’s garage, flipturn developed their sound playing long college-bar shows in Gainesville, and gigging almost right out of the gate.

“It is honestly really freaking surreal,” Jarman said. “Being in a touring band was something that we all dreamed of doing when we were younger. The fact that people even listen to our music is insane. I feel incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received over the years. It’s wild to think about how we started this band seven years ago, when we were just seniors in high school. So much life has happened since then, and I’m so proud of us for sticking to our guns to make this dream of ours a reality. I’m super appreciative of all of my bandmates for grinding and prioritizing the band so that we can live out our dreams and make our little teenager selves proud.”

Although they’ve since received strong reviews for their album Shadowglow, from indie outlets like Consequence and Paste, flipturn’s success really comes from appearing on over 260,000 playlists independently created by fans, helping them cross the coveted 1 million monthly listeners mark on Spotify, amassing over 60 million streams on the platform and counting. 

Gaining momentum on the road right before COVID-19 hit, however, flipturn had to pull a 180 when the pandemic closed everything down in 2020.

“It was definitely a big change,” lead guitarist Tristan Duncan said. “We feel that playing live really helps us hone in our songs, so losing that outlet made us have to work a little differently – as was the case for anyone at that time. Considering it in a glass-half-full sort of sense, I think it gave us a break in time to figure out things with ourselves.”

In addition to headlining its own sold-out shows from coast to coast, flipturn has opened for acts like Mt. Joy, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Wilderado, reaching countless new fans before hosting their own event, the Playground Music Festival, last summer in Gainesville in celebration of the Shadowglow release, and the next chapter of the band. 

“I think a lot of our older material was very influenced by the artists we grew up listening to, but with this new record I think we really tried to hone in on sounds that were unique to us and could be identified as flipturn,” Basse said. “I’m not sure exactly what direction we’re headed in next, but we’re always trying to improve and evolve our sound. We’ve always tried to let each record stand on its own, so whatever it is I know it’ll be a bit different from ‘Shadowglow’ or any other of our projects.”

Wsg. Hotel Fiction
The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 16, 7 p.m., $17 advance, All-ages
Flipturn.band, Pyramidschemebar.com