Anthony W Rogers’ babyflow Releases Debut Album “Oblivious”
A nod to “The Who Sell Out”
Independent label Wildflow Records and Anthony Rogers announces the release of the wild debut album from babyflow. entitled “Oblivious.” The album is available on the full range of digital and stream services and is available again on limited edition vinyl, in keeping with all releases thus far on Wildflow. “Oblivious” marks the first time Rogers has released an album under another name, evidently, like everything else these days, a side effect of the Covid experience.
Rogers remarks “This is a wild one. We intended an even more collaborative album which got shut down 2 songs in March. After that, it wasn’t until August that we had the Lillers come back in separately to finish the vocals. Since there were a number of tracks with vocals other than mine, it was entirely appropriate to put this under another name. Blake significantly stepped up writing wise and the others-especially the Liller brothers left a big imprint on the final product. Then of course the craziness of the commercials and format. Made sense to me.”
Marketed as “an indie solution for the Covid/Trump hangover,” “Oblivious” is the fourth full length release (#3 on Wildflow) by Appalachian indie artist Anthony W Rogers. In addition to Rogers, babyflow features the usual contributions from Rogers’ children Blake (Audrey) and Joe Rogers as well as heavy contributions from brothers Aaron and Sean Liller, and musical contributions from local musicians/friends Pierce Miller and Bryson Bush. To complete the family circle, the iconic full on unforgettable sun cover art was painted by artist Lisa Rayden-Rogers, wife of Anthony/mother of Blake and Joe.
Most mischievous of all is that “Oblivious” features seven songs/six commercials weaving in and out of the album imitating the construct of the great classic late 60’s record, “The Who Sell Out.” But babyflow’s commercials all reference modern 2020 fictious products /places (Covid Beach, Invisible Mask, No Test Health Insurance). “The idea came from a discussion with my son, Joe about what funny products you could come up with.” Anthony says, “We landed on Invisible Mask and we were off to the races. I put the other planned tracks away and we finished it up like this. Fun to weave these in.”
The album itself is a journey from the dark caustic opener “Daddy Got Played” (a finger wagging at the collapse moral and ethical standards of the Southern Christian contingent) to the light-the hopeful optimistic promise of closer “Rain Cloud”, a ballad written for and first performed at the inaugural Mineral County (WV) Music Festival in summer 2019. The record also features the first recorded solo composition from Blake Rogers, a high school junior, in the form of the instrumental second side opener “William Burns” – a mature and subtly placid reminder honoring the victim of the last known lynching in the local Western Maryland region in 1907. The album liner notes remark of this track, “it is our duty to never forget.” “Blake also was the principal/genesis writer on ‘Substitute For Science,’ ‘3 for $12.99’ and ‘Karen for Hire.’” says Anthony.
Anthony recorded solo two of the album tracks, “Wrong” and “Wish Away.” “Wrong” is a poppy playlist ready remake/update of a track originally intended to be included on the 2015 solo album of the same name. He says, “Originally the first version of wrong referred to the existence of time. Now with the new version, I’ve come to agree with Chris Dedrick/Free Design… the wrong is outside us.” “Wish Away” concerns the personal desperation felt across the country from the early days of the pandemic. “Ok, so we know we can’t go back to how it was before” says Rogers, “so let’s dream and find the better way.” Other standout tracks include “Greaser” (a Brown Sugar-ish/Black Crowes style tribute to individualism) and “Listen (concerning BLM and the breakdown of civil discourse from an unrecognizable uninformed segment of society).
To many, the unique and most exciting part of the project will be the commercials-a humorous yet serious commentary of the state of America circa 2021. “Covid Beach” – a Dick Dale/Jan and Dean panache to a mask less paradise; “Substitute for Science” and “3 for $12.99” – with the “bleach tab “phenomena”; “Invisible Mask” – the dangers of being smart in dumdum culture; “NTHI” – a no test health insurance and “Karen for Hire,” a Sparks (Mael brothers) influenced tribute to the homemakers from hell club, who like to “fix things.” “I have no doubt that if these are heard they would be extremely useful and attractive form of comic relief for college stations across the country. The originals on sell out were used as bumpers everywhere. I think ours are just as funny.”
Anthony W Rogers is a veteran of both the local and DC music scenes, and has (many lifetimes ago in a different world) played to thousands over the years in his DC area bands Ten Below and The Now. Rogers has released three solo albums prior to “Oblivious”: 1993’s “Indentifiction”; “Wrong” in 2015; and “One Day (a Journal)” in 2018. “I’m always happy and satisfied to fly a bit below the radar. I know what we’re doing is good. Every record is just me dropping my pebble into the lake. I think my younger cohorts this time out are decidedly less apathetic as me so I hope for their sake more people hear this one.” “Oblivious” was recorded, produced and mixed at Anthony’s own Lakes Edge studio. The latest project was also the first to be mastered by DC area legend and multi-Grammy winner Greg Lukens at his Virginia facility.
Babyflow’s “Oblivion” album, following in the vein of the last two Wildflow releases – will be available on limited edition vinyl and is available currently for digital download worldwide and streaming services on the Wildflow imprint. Previous releases “Wrong” and “One Day” have previously garnered much critical praise from reviewers in the US and across Europe and are also available digitally and vinyl. Rogers first CD release in 1994, “Identifiction” remains currently out of print.
1. Daddy Got Played
2. Substitute for Science
4. Covid Beach
6. 3 for $12.99
7. William Blake
8. Invisible Mask
9. Wish Away
12. Karen for Hire
13. Rain Cloud
To purchase digitally: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08THH9QCD/ref=pe_385040_118058080_TE_M1DP
Stream on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nO0i3kEEnv1VKoFEqngj6g0jqPCvyzgys
Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/anthony-w-rogers