“Waltz To The World is slated to drop September 23. It’s from the Giant Flying Turtles – how cool is that name? – who hail from Brooklyn, NY. The band is made up of Calvin Bennett on vocals, upright bass, guitars and cello; Johnny Young on vocals, piano, keyboards and guitars; T.J. Jordan on vocals and guitars; and Jim Toscano sits in the pocket. Stylistically, the Giant Flying Turtles combine elements of progressive rock, alt rock, blues, swing, bluegrass, Americana and folk into their own distinctive sound.
Waltz To The World contains eleven tracks. “No Turning Back” kicks the album off with a melody emanating influences from prog rock, bluegrass and folk. The melody is light and buoyant, with crisp, bright vocal harmonies, fluttering guitars and delightful, tinkling keyboards. “Stay Out Late” positively oozes a thick blues flavor, along with a touch of jazz, set to a funky groove shimmering with outstanding vocal harmonies and dazzling guitar riffs and a spectacular piano. “The Devil and Me” rides a melody full of swing and jazz elements. The piano sparkles with a boogie woogie flavor while the vocals are infectiously fun. “One Of A Kind” delivers a jazzy, bluesy prog rock feel, riding heavy guitars that take on a luminous quality. The chorus reminds me of Styx, full of perky nuances. In fact, the song sounds like Chicago on steroids crossed with Styx and Queen. “River Runs Dry” slows things down a bit, providing an alt rock/prog rock melody reminiscent of the Beatles. The vocals are slightly off kilter, adding an ascetic flavor to the tune. A beautiful piano solo really makes the song sparkle. “Train Song” pumps it up, combining blues and jazz elements with a prog rock sensibility. The tune ramps up to rock levels on the chorus, which rides a jumping piano. “Three Shades of Blue” combines swing, rock and country essences into a rollicking, thumping melody. Once again, the vocal harmonies are superb, giving the tune flowing energy. “Hold The Flag” starts off with a mellow piano, followed by the entrance of a dulcet tenor and strings. The melody exudes a subdued prog rock tang that’s piquant with Young’s excellent work on the piano. “Banjo” delivers a cogent melody rife with country, folk and rock elements in a rockabilly matrix. The tune bubbles with ebullience and charm. “Good To Be Alive” blends rock and blues into a heavy, growling melody. The rasping vocals add to the rusty feel, while the sunny background vocals provide contrast. The title track offers a prog rock melody infused with a jazz extract, giving the tune a unique sonic footprint that arises gracefully. The guitar wailing under the melody is fantastic.
The Giant Flying Turtles definitely have it going on! Waltz To The World is quite distinct from anything else around, original and creative. The melodies are deliciously contagious, the instrumentation is tight and sharp, and the vocal harmonies are mesmerizing. Don’t miss this one!
“Anyway…the GFT managed to engage an enthusiastic Thursday night crowd with a set that showcased the excellent musicianship of the band and the smart, eclectic songwriting of Young and bassist Calvin Bennett, who share lead vocal duties. Young plays keys, mainly with a straight up acoustic piano sound, atop the solid rhythmic foundation of Bennett on upright bass and Jim Toscano on drumkit. The recent addition of the talented TJ Jordan expands the band’s live sonic palette with acoustic and electric guitars, banjo and backing vocals. The players play for the song, bringing out the best in Young & Bennett’s catchy yet adventurous tunes which range from old school bar room boogie-woogie as heard on “Keep My Dream Alive” to sweeping anthems such as “Brain Cloud,” on which the band got the crowd roaring with some intense, non-meandering jamming action. GFT know how to put a set list together, taking the audience on a musical ride of twists and turns, pulling the crowd in.”
Dan Sheehan - The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy
“With a sound about as unique as their name, Giant Flying Turtles is doing a great job carving a place for themselves in, and beyond, the thriving Brooklyn, New York indie music scene. The Giant Flying Turtles’ music pulls from a variety of influences and combines high-octane roots music, blues, jazz and rock in a manner as free-spirited as their motivational song “Keep My Dream Alive.” I’m sure seeing Giant Flying Turtles live is a very memorable experience. Listen to Giant Flying Turtles’ song “Keep My Dream Alive” here: http://www.reverbnation.com/giantflyingturtles/song/12400989-keep-my-dream-alive”
NMCM - New Music Charts Magazine
“…blend a wide array of different genres and styles in the creation of an utterly unique album. Run for Your Life has GFT take up the countenance of seventies rock, tying a strong set of vocals with pleasant guitars and on-point drum and synth work. Utterly ready for radio rotation, GFT is able to keep things going well with Keep My Dream Alive.This track will appease fans of rockabilly and sixties rock, while the vocals link together Reel Big Fish and the B-52s.A piano line makes the track absolutely twinkle. Carnivorous Flowers…takes a number of listens to truly get. The dense arrangements will appease fans of progressive rock and metal (Jethro Tull, Yes, Pendragon), while still having enough of a rock shell to keep a wide swath of fans happy. Faithless takes up hints of Irish rock (Bloody Irish Boys, Great Big Sea) and links the style to early sixties... This mélange of styles is great, keeping listeners on the edges of their seats. The band is able to make each of the cuts on this se...”
"The Phoenix Fest had a few very pleasant surprises for me. Giant Flying Turtles was perhaps the biggest. Having never seen you guys before, it took a few seconds to figure out your level of musicianship is outstanding. It took a couple minutes to recognize your style is original and fresh and your arrangements are very interesting. As with many things that are different, it sometimes takes a while to obsorb all the facets, but by the end of your set, I was a big fan. You guys have fun and make it fun for your audience. Since Saturday, I listened to the CD and find that I want to keep it in the CD player and continue to listen, as it just kepps getting better and better! I hope to catch you guys again very soon. Maybe some of us will come up the NYC and catch a show. Great stuff guys!"
Ed Comeau - Southern Maryland News
““Giant Flying Turtles played in the rain, and they were great.”... “A little rain wasn’t going to stop those flying turtles.””
“Tinges of different musical styles that are touched upon with class and the right amount of sparseness that tickle your ears and bring a smile to your face all the while leaving the listener wanting more. Great vocals, harmonies and catchy hooks. Giant Flying Turtles ROCK!”
“Don't let their boyish good looks fool you, these rockers come from the schoolings of legendary acts like Pink Floyd, Yes, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and The Beatles.”