Apex Manor- Heartbreak City
Apex Manor- Heartbreak City

Apex Manor- Heartbreak City

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Label: Merge

Released 5/31/19

The Year of Magical Drinking, Apex Manor’s 2011 tongue-in-cheek debut title, turned into self-fulfilling prophecy for Ross Flournoy. Near a nervous breakdown from depression and long term alcohol abuse, Flournoy traveled from California home to Memphis, to check himself into rehab. “My father had gotten sober in 2009, so I ended up going to the same place,” says Flournoy. During that seven-week treatment, his father – who Flournoy playfully calls his “sober Sherpa” – had started a homemade pimento cheese business that was quickly taking off in local markets and grocery stores. “My dad showed me how it was possible to live without drinking – which was an impossibility in my mind – and I started helping him” says Flournoy, who ended up staying in Memphis for two and a half years before returning to California. “It was the most profound shift in my life and I never saw it coming.”

Even with his newfound sobriety and the success of his father’s business taking time and energy, Flournoy never stopped making music while in Memphis. He got work composing instrumental music for scores and program theme songs. The music-without-lyrics part came easy for Flournoy and the anonymity was an enticing draw as he learned to navigate life without alcohol. “I always knew I wanted to make another Apex Manor record,” revels Flournoy. However, there seemed to be a new disconnect between the ease with which he composed instrumental music and the obstacles he faced every time he tried to write lyrics. Finally in 2016 after moving back to Los Angeles and scoring a couple of movies, Flournoy wrote his first new Apex Manor song. “It took me five or six years to learn how to rewrite songs or at least how to write them sober. But then in nine months I wrote something like 35 songs,” smiles Flournoy.

After recording with producer Rob Barbados, Flournoy emerged with a vibrant collection of Apex Manor songs he’s titled Heartbreak City. The 11 tracks on Heartbreak City feature universal topics (break-ups, selfishness, relationships) with extemporaneous abstractions that furiously rumble with Dinosaur Jr.- esque guitars (“Asked & Answered,” “Nervous Wreck,” “Where My Mind Goes,” “The Long Goodbye”) and float on the synth-work of bands like The Killers (“Sara Now,” “Diamond in the Dark”).

For Flournoy, the release of Heartbreak City is not so much a literal culmination of the dramatic twists and turns that transpired over the last eight years between Apex Manor albums, it’s more about celebrating the place that those events led him to: “I didn’t want to try to track the journey verbatim. Rehab, the pimento cheese business, living life without alcohol – all those things were a means that allowed me to get to the end result of being in a place where I could write songs again. This thing that I feared might be gone forever finally coupon reemerged and I feel profoundly lucky.”

Track Listing:

  1. Asked & Answered
  2. Where My Mind Goes
  3. The Long Goodbye
  4. Diamond in the Dark
  5. Actual Size
  6. Heartbreak City
  7. Sara Now
  8. Nervous Wreck
  9. VCR
  10. Morning Light
  11. Sanctuary

Tour Dates:

May 01 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club*
May 02 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon*
May 03 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall*
May 04 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi*
May 06 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom*
May 07 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe*
May 30 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater (album release show)
Jul 27 Carrboro, NC (MRG30)
* w/ Strand of Oaks