Life near the big city of Kalamazoo has its perks, the foremost being its exceptionally cool name. Unbelievably, not many people have heard of it, but once they do they are not likely to soon forget. One local band is putting us on the map, showcasing talent right in our urban backyard. FlyPaper is rapidly gaining popularity, and looking to expand its fan base not just to the country’s borders, but around the world.
The group consists of three members: Micaela Kingslight, lead guitarist and vocalist; Ashley Ickes, percussionist; and Joe Chamberlain, bassist and general manager. Together, they fuse the genres of rock, folk and blues into a unique sound; one that can only be found in a town like Kalamazoo.
Micaela Kingslight started off solo with her own album, Still, released in 2009. Her skill with the guitar rivals that of the very best. Her voice has a quality to it that is both old and young. Underneath youthful tones, her songs convey deeper meanings through masterful lyrics:”Sold for a few dollars an hour, paid just enough to never get better. /So he straps himself to gunpowder, steps into the crowd just to make it louder.” Micaela’s song “Any Minute” describes the frustrations of a methodical, wearing life. It can be found on both her solo album and FlyPaper’s.
The band FlyPaper was created last year, their self-titled album debuting in July. The name FlyPaper reflects back on its place of origin. The city has a way of pulling people back when they leave – like a fly to flypaper.
The band took a self-booked tour last summer towards the West Coast and plans a national tour this year. They are featured on popular radio stations around the world and often headline at shows right next-door in the city. A follow-up album is expected this spring.
It’s not every day that talent this big springs up in a sleepy, mid-western city. Keep your eyes open for upcoming shows and don’t miss out on this chance to see Kalamazoo’s name be recognized for the creativity it inspires.
By Lauren Poll