The Flat Five It's a World of Love and Hope Album Art
| BS 711 CD

It's a World of Love and Hope


Deluxe LP is on 180-gram vinyl and includes digital download card

Read the lyrics, specially hand drawn by Heather McAdams, and colored by Sheila Sachs.


The many touchstones (a gamut stretching from The Beach Boys and The Boswell Sisters, to Trip Shakespeare and Dr. Dog) were gathered on the shores of late night AM radio and get tossed at the listener with a giddiness that jumps outta the grooves.

Full Description

It’s a World of Love and Hope is The Flat Five’s long-awaited debut album — 12 irresistibly catchy, instantly-hummable, and sweetly twisted pop songs written by long-time Chicago fixture Chris Ligon — and interpreted with great love by five simpatico nerds with massive musical chops — five friends foamy all over with song fever — who are just in it for the joy. It is a world of love and hope. We insist!

The Flat Five is a Chicago-based pop vocal super-group Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Alex Hall — made of five in-demand musicians who individually spend much of their time touring and recording with bands like Neko Case, NRBQ, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, Mavis Staples, Iron and Wine, Jakob Dylan, Robbie Fulks, Alejandro Escovedo, The New Pornographers, and many other heavy hitters.  These five folks stay very, very busy. Yet for the past ten years, these shameless harmony junkies came together, like a moth to a porchlight, to make music as The Flat Five. Purely for the love of singing together. For the mother-effing fun of it.

At first The Flat Five existed only as a once-a-year sold out holiday show in Chicago. Then came quarterly SRO gigs, and then month-long jam-packed residencies, and then…slowly…the idea for a record grew out of the band’s shared love of the repertoire of genius oddball songwriter and performer (and big brother to band member Scott Ligon) Chris Ligon. The Flat Five were already performing many of Chris’s songs in their set, and thought that making an entire record of his compositions would be a good way to shoot up a flare and give more folks a chance to hear his amazing and unique music.

From the laid-back simple to the oddly romantic to the slightly subversive, there is a heart of wide-eyed sweetness coloring Chris Ligon’s songs.  The smooth southern soul of “Bottom Buck” will have you kicking off your fringed leather boots by the river to lay back and watch the dragonflies flit past. Beneath the gentle, Donovan psychedelia of “I Could Fall In Love With You” is a love song built on prom-night innocence that’s both goofball and beguiling. “It’s Been A Delight’s” suave Cole Porter-era charms will unbutton the tux and pop the champagne.  And if you can keep a straight face and resist the urge to shimmy during the Mills Brothers-styled aphrodisiac romp “Buglight” it might be time to visit the doc, friend.

The charms of the album are manifest. With in-the-pocket and over-the-moon harmonies, the genre-hopping It’s a World of Love and Hope is lovably diverse and hits every stripe on the ROYGBIV spectrum.  The many touchstones (a gamut stretching from The Beach Boys and The Boswell Sisters, to Trip Shakespeare and Dr. Dog) were gathered on the shores of late night AM radio and get tossed at the listener with a giddiness that jumps outta the grooves. This is a band that’s made more than a few laps around the roller rink on Saturday night.

The Flat Five began building their record in September of 2014 — as quickly as their busy schedules and the 100% band-financed recording budget would allow. In between their respective tours, they convened upstairs at Chicago’s Reliable Recorders (JD McPherson, Pokey Lafarge) (with band member Alex Hall pulling triple-duty as studio owner/engineer and drummer) and crafted this record themselves over a long 18 months — down to the last detail — with endless hours of labor, a shared passion for the music, two little dogs, and about 16 pizzas. Chicago pizzas…

Short Description
  • The disparate songs coalesce around a tone that is unapologetically uplifting. It's impossible to listen to the Flat Five and not smile.

    — Chicago Tribune
  • I’m not sure if another record this year has given me more unalloyed pleasure.

    — Chicago Reader
  • Uses vocal melodies and harmonies as the main means of delivering 12 memorable earworms that will stay lodged in your brain for days.

    — PopMatters
  • There’s a lot of love in this group and it’s easy to hear as they cover plenty of ground with jazzy, bubbly, and incredibly smooth vocals. Their voices pop, blend, bebop and sway all through your speakers. The Flat Five is irresistible and catchy.

    — Elmore Magazine
  • An incredibly accomplished Chicago-based group of musicians that have gotten together to create refreshing, retro pop with shades of modern indie rock. …the listener is surrounded by lush vocal harmonies and classic instrumental tones that evoke the golden years of AM radio.

    — Impose Magazine
  • I am AGHAST at how great this Flat Five album is. It is precisely what I want to listen to at this time, and always. It’s so effin’ great.

    — John Wesley Harding
  • It's a 12-song collection of breezy and infectious warmly rendered that you can burrow into its soothing harmonies like a blanket.

    — RedEye Chicago
  • I can't express how much I love this record!

    — Alejandro Escovedo

Track List

  1. Florida
  2. Buglight
  3. You're Still Joe
  4. Bottom Buck
  5. I Could Fall in Love with You
  6. Birmingham
  7. This Is Your Night
  8. Blue Kazoo
  9. Bluebirds in Michigan
  10. Almond Grove
  11. She's Only Five
  12. It's Been a Delight


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