Say what you will about digital dating, but if it weren’t for the back and forth Facebook and Skype sessions across the world, Flora Cash wouldn’t have even formed. Cole Randall, a native of Minneapolis, and Sweden-based Shpresa Lleshaj met after discovering each other on the music-sharing website, SoundCloud. Musical comments led to chats; then an introductory phone call led to marathon video calls and eventually marriage. The duo has been making music under the name Flora Cash for five years now and signed to RCA Records in 2018, and the husband-and-wife duo continues to make big strides through their washed out, nocturnal indie pop.
Since releasing in 2018, the single “You’re Somebody Else” has amassed over 36 million plays on Spotify. Billboard.com hailed the March release of the band’s new EP, Press, stating, “Flora Cash prove that their songs are meant to carry a larger, lasting message.” The band has begun to appear on the bill of large summer music festivals, such as Festival d’été de Quebec and Woodstock 50. But first they pass through Colorado Springs as they tour Pressaround North America. If you have a ticket, you can see them at a sold-out Black Sheep on April 24 with headliner lovelytheband. If you don’t, you might still catch them in a free acoustic midday showcase at Axe and the Oak.
The couple’s synergy seems to be working. “I think what happened since we started writing together is that we learned that we both have different strengths and ended up challenging each other,” Randall says. “Having someone to bounce ideas off of makes it a little more clear when you have a weaker or stronger idea.”
Flora Cash’s first full-length record, Can Summer Love Last Forever?, was released in 2016. The album is meant for a dimly-lit bedroom rather than the dance floor, as it almost breaches folk territory. Next came Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine) in 2017. The album experimented with dark electronic instrumentation and more uplifting melodies, despite the record’s devastating name. Press offers some of the duo’s best songs to date, adding more sophisticated lyrics that pop with Lleshaj’s harmonies.
“Without sounding too clique about it, we want to always be challenging ourselves and not writing out of a fear of what other people might not like—but just keep writing stuff that we like,” Randall says. “And when you see how it touched people, it makes you have a greater sense of purpose of what we’re doing.”
Randall says that’s especially true of the song “You’re Someone Else,” an intimate offering that came from a difficult, yet therapeutic moment between the couple. “The goal is to just keep pushing the envelope and hopefully bring more people into the fold,” he says. “We have been humbled and honored, especially by ‘You’re Someone Else,’ just by the way it’s touched people.”
As for the evolution of the live show, the duo has added more production, another musician on stage and, of course, a deeper catalog to draw from.
“We’re playing everything since our recent EP, and we’ve got some things that are totally unreleased that are going to be on the next album,” Randall says. “It’s an interesting thing. You’ll be able to preview our next step musically, so it’s definitely going to be a big shift since we were on the road last.”
Catch Flora Cash
Miss the Black Sheep show? Or just want to see them again? Flora Cash plays a free acoustic show at Axe and the Oak April 25 at noon. Get there early. And get info here.