The serendipitous beginning of new band Fresh Cut Flowers

Featuring members of Tragic Sans and Spirit of the Bear, this new Columbus synth-rock act will release its debut EP on Friday, April 9

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Fresh Cut Flowers

For a while, Spirit of the Bear bandmates Ethan Schwendeman (keys) and Mike Perorazio (bass) sat on some song demos for an unnamed side project. They had ideas for a band that leaned a little more toward rock than Spirit of the Bear’s indie-pop sound, but with Perorazio in Youngstown and Schwendeman in Columbus, it was tough to make creative headway. 

Once Perorazio made the move to Columbus, though, the pair gained momentum on the band they initially envisioned as a creative playground for synth-based, instrumental experiments. Over time, that vision grew to include drummer Adam King (formerly of Dayton, now in Nashville) and Columbus guitarist Kyle Thomas, another Youngstown ex-pat. But as the songs developed, Perorazio  and Schwendeman realized the band wouldn’t be complete until they landed a vocalist. The only problem was, they had no idea what they were looking for.  

Fortunately, Joe Amadio at Moonlight Audio had an idea. While working on the debut EP for Columbus band Tragic Sans, Amadio had been impressed by singer Miles (Meckling) Logan. “I remember the first time hearing Miles. Joe was working on [Tragic Sans EP Billy and the Space Bum], and he showed me the first verse, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK. This guy is great,’” Perorazio said. “It only took a line or two. The lyrics are great. His voice is amazing. … You don't have to dig too deep to realize that Miles is a stupidly talented singer.” 

Schwendeman and Perorazio listened to Logan perform at a Kafe Kerouac open mic night and knew they wanted him in the band. Fortunately, Logan was on board, too, and his inclusion completed the lineup of Fresh Cut Flowers, which will release its debut self-titled EP on Friday, April 9. (A few of the songs are already available on streaming services.)

Logan also layers his vocals in such a way that his singing expands the entire sonic palette of the band. “He creates, essentially, his own synthesizers in the background with how many layers he does of vocals,” Perorazio said. “There was a song that we pretty much had to take out Ethan's [synth] pads because of how much vocals Miles was doing.” 

If anything, the only feedback the bandmates had for Logan was to sing more, not less. “There was no time that I had to be like, ‘Hey, maybe not this topic or this lyric,’” Perorazio said. “The only time I remember having him change something was I wanted him to add a section on [EP track] ‘Ghost in the Gardens.’ His original thought was to have an instrumental part, and I was like, ‘Nah, I want you through the entire song.’” 

Fresh Cut Flowers didn’t go too far astray from the sounds of Spirit of the Bear, which makes sense given that James Harker, Spirit of the Bear’s singer/guitarist, produced the fledgling band’s EP at Moonlight Audio during his senior year at Capital University.  

With bandmates in different cities and a pandemic that disrupted any prior plans, Fresh Cut Flowers is in a unique spot; the group has yet to play its new songs all together as a band. In fact, all five members have only been in the same room twice. But hopefully, if the pandemic continues to wane, the group can assemble its disparate parts and not only be in the same room, but perform their new songs as a band for the first time.