by Paul Bowers
In a blog post Tuesday afternoon, longtime Charleston indie-pop act Slow Runner announced that the two founding members, Josh Kaler and Michael Flynn, would be parting ways for a while. Kaler and Flynn assure the City Paper that the break is amicable and that they could end up collaborating again in the future, but for now, their last show for a long time will be Fri. Sept. 27 at the Charleston Music Hall.
Since releasing their debut album No Disassemble in 2002 (Yes, Short Circuit fans, that was a Johnny Five reference), the band has released four albums and collaborated with Charleston musicians including Nick Jenkins, Steven Fiore, Jay Clifford (formerly of Jump Little Children), Cary Ann Hearst (of Shovels and Rope), and Joel Hamilton (of Mechanical River). The songwriting pair has shown a knack throughout for producing lovelorn songs with infectious hooks and quirky synthesizer parts. You can read a recent City Paper retrospective on the band's career here.
Kaler, who plays all manner of rhythm instruments in Slow Runner and works as a producer at local studio Hello Telescope, says he's heading to Nashville "to pursue a broader career in production and touring." He says he hasn't hammered out all the details for his career in Nashville yet, but he will play in songwriter Butch Walker's touring band for a fall tour.
Flynn, who plays keys in Slow Runner, will stick around Charleston to work on an as-yet-unnamed solo project, and he says he hopes to release an album in early 2014. "This is probably going to be very electronic, very '80s, but not necessarily videogamey," Flynn says. "I feel like I'm soundtracking an imaginary John Hughes movie."
Flynn says he and Kaler might collaborate long-distance on another Slow Runner record, but not until after his solo release is finished. "We were kind of working on a new Slow Runner record, and that has morphed into a solo project," Flynn says. "So there's no sort of bitterness or animosity or even creative boredom. It's more just circumstances and timing."
The band will play one last show together on Fri. Sept. 27 at the Charleston Music Hall alongside Brave Baby and comedian Dusty Slay. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 in advance or $18 the day of the show.