291. Silver – Starflyer 59

SILVER (1994)

Starflyer 59

Silver is the name given to the debut album from Starflyer 59, one of the first releases in the history of Tooth and Nail Records. If I recall correctly when I was working for Diamante Music when the album came out, it was originally just called Starflyer 59 and got the name silver from the stark and copy-less cover artwork. Oddly I have a copy of the cassette and it had a small airplane artwork on the cover while the CD was simply plain.

The primary force behind SF59 is Jason Martin, who also appears on releases by his brother Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric. Musically they are very different as SF59, especially on early releases like Silver is referred to as “shoegazer” or “dream pop.” The names are attempts to describe the ethereal, atmospheric and dream-like sound to the layered distorted guitars and droning vocals.

The band may be the most prolific band in Christian Music with 12 full albums, 8 EP’s, several live offering and countless re-issues, B-Sides, special vinyls and “unofficial” released tracks. The fan base is rabid and continues to be intensely supportive of the band and the output.

When this debut was released there was nothing else like it in the market. Nearly 20 years and it’s safe to say, there is still nothing else like it. The layers and layers of effect-oriented guitars, soft and droning vocals propel 10 classic songs that have more than withstood the test of time. Almost as though the album is “out of time” and not quite fitting into any era allows it to sound new and fresh 17 years later.

  1. Aaron
    November 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. This is one of my favorite albums…ever.

  2. Kit
    November 30, 2011 at 1:36 am

    This is classic not only in CCM, but in the shoegazer genre in general. Many new-ish mainstream acts of the shoegazer persuasion have cited this band as an influence. I realize that they’ve matured in many ways since this album, and Jason has become a far better vocalist. However, to this day, this remains my favorite Starflyer release. This is coming from someone who liked pretty much everything they released.

  3. February 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I came in at Talking Voice vs Singing Voice, somehow missing SF59 during my whole exploration of Tooth and Nail during the mid-90’s (favorites were Plankeye, Stavesacre, MXPX, Everdown, Sometime Sunday.) My second acquisition was the re-release of Silver, and that triggered a shopping spree that didn’t end until I had all their previous albums. Their sound touched a part of my soul that I didn’t know even existed. Somehow their music takes me back to my childhood and a more innocent time. It was like they were with me all along. How that happens, I don’t know, but the effect is haunting.

  4. dennis
    January 29, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I really like Silver. I listen to it at least once a month.
    Fantastic album.

  5. JJ Surma
    July 27, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I’m not against them, but personally tattoos aren’t for me. That said, I seriously considered getting the SF59 crown from the Silver gate-fold put on my arm. That’s how much I love this record 22 years after its release.

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