The Flying Change

The Flying Change


Post-American love core. Landscape pop. Sprung from the soil of Americana, crawled through the cracks of the sidewalk, snaked through the bedroom of the sensitive singers and their songwriters; alone, strumming an acoustic guitar, listening to a beat or two, grabbing a melody from the air.


The Flying Change is the songwriting and performance vehicle for New York-based songwriter Sam Jacobs. The name The Flying Change was inspired by the poetry of family friend and Pulitzer-prize winner, Henry Taylor, the college roommate of Sam’s father.

"An early contender for album of the year" (Splice Today), Pain is a Reliable Signal draws deeply from the endless medical journey into which Jacobs and his family have been thrust. Four years ago, Sam's wife began experiencing severe sciatic nerve pain, leading to the discovery of latent spinal birth defects. A neurosurgeon at Georgetown Hospital performed two experimental surgeries. Not only did neither alleviate her sciatica; in fact, they created new debilitating back pain. Further consultations led the couple to Rochester, Minnesota, hoping for a Hail Mary cure from the Mayo Clinic. Instead, doctors informed them they knew of no remedy nor treatment. His wife continues to suffer from physical pain, her condition interrupting the future they’d intended and the plains they’d laid. Pain relives this story in familiar themes of love, loss and reckoning, spoken in words fluid and incisive.

Jacobs enlisted friend, acclaimed songwriter, producer and award-winning film composer Paul Brill to guide and shape the recording. Together, they assembled a stellar band of accomplished musicians; recorded live in two takes by master engineer Robert L. Smith (David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, etc.), the album features performances by Rob Burger (Iron and Wine, Lucinda Williams) Bill Dobrow (Sean Lennon, The Black Crowes), Amber Rubarth (Paper Raincoat), Antoine Silverman, Anja Wood, Matt Ray, Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Saturday Night Live Band), Peter, Stan Harrison (Radiohead) Dan Levine (They Might Be Giants) and others.

Brill and Jacobs gathered these musicians to create a sound they've dubbed "landscape pop". Says Jacobs, “during early editing sessions, Paul went through the songs with a red pen and we kept editing and editing until they were as tight as possible. At the same time, we wanted every moment to be incredibly vivid. Small fragments of melody and emotion." These moments are everywhere on the record, from the inverted swells of the pedal steel on the opener "Broken Bow" to the swirling ghostlike sax solo on "Hold My Heartache."

While performing regularly in New York, blogging about his take on the future of the music industry, and adding musicians to the already large ensemble, Jacobs continues to grow as a writer and has been harvesting new songs by the batch.

Since its release, Pain is a Reliable Signal, has been generating widespread acclaim and support. Blurt Online dubbed it "deeply felt, beautifully put together, and life affirming" while Drowned in Sound claimed that "the rest of the world retreats while its playing".

The Flying Change has been featured in Wired, Magnet, Aquarium Drunkard, Largehearted Boy, Blurt, Drowned in Sound, Brooklyn Vegan and a host of other press and music-related publications.



Written By: Sam Jacobs

Well I don't know what to do
But I sing it all for you

I love you, Erica
I want you, Erica
I need you, Erica
I love you

You are my infinite machine
You are the reason I get clean
Rochester's a breath away
But we'll beat back what evil may come

I love you, Erica

I trace a line around your head
Your glass of water by the bed
And your green glasses

I love you, Erica

There Is Nowhere to Run

Written By: Sam Jacobs // Lipstik

Open your eyes
There's blood on the pillow again
Lines twisted in bed
The secrets are bleeding again

There is nowhere to run
For me

Open the door
The cut from your fingers has dried
There's a song on the floor
And I hear you singing inside

There is nowhere to run
There's a small space you can crawl Through
To me

Well I think we're gonna be fine
When we're running down the stairs
I know the neighborhood doesn't care
Well I don't know anyone else
Who can smile when the winter has come
You don't have to shame yourself
for anyone

There is nowhere to run
There's a small space you can crawl through
Where the sunlight may still find you
For me

Broken Bow

Written By: Sam Jacobs

You’re hiding out
In a motel in Running Bear
All of your eyes
Their derision
Their vacant stare
We’re covered in spies
Their amusement,
Their moneyed air

Those lines point low
I’m a broken bow

These citizen smiles
Well they don’t know me
Or how I want you
My secretive styles
Well, I trust them
I trust their wisdom

Those lines point low
I’m a broken bow

Well, I’m gonna break it down
I’m gonna close my hands around you
Well I’m figurin it out
When you’re lifeless, when you’re empty

Those lines point low
I’m a broken bow

Dirty White Coats

Written By: Sam Jacobs

Well all the bastards on parade
Every nighthorse serenade
All the circles in your back
That’ll never fade to black
What’s the word
Haven’t you heard?

Well all your plastic pedigrees
Dirty white coat policies
The corruption in his hands
And the devil understands
Say the word
If that’s what you heard

No one ever told you how to breathe
Can you believe in some reprieve?

So when you finally get to sleep
Just a gray place in the deep
Another pattern for your skein
And they can never find your vein
Hold on tight
We’re here all night

Well no one ever told you what to say
What’s in a look, what’s in a day?
Well all the specters sidle by the door
I’ll take you back, sink through the floor

I’ll take you back

If You See Something

Written By: Sam Jacobs

If you see something, say something
Capture that sound
Cut a line from the train to the Greyhound
It’s a long way to run when the trust is all gone
Which way are you set upon?

If you see something, say something
Break through the glass
We got ourselves in a dark pass
We’re not wasted away if we’re wasted but free
Which one do you want for me?

The winter’s a lonely road
There’s a bed on the way
If you see something

If you see something, say something
Don’t let it start
Cut a line from the good to the bad part
We’re not past all the blood if we’re fixed to a post
I’ve seen the girl in your ghost

Take everything below
There’s a vow to repay
If you see something

Say something

Hold My Heartache

Written By: Sam Jacobs

Take my hand
And tell me that you understand
And tell me that I’m really not alone
My words erase
They’re broken by a dead embrace
They’re broken by your emptiness of tone

We all lie in bed
And we hand our head
And the walls bleed red out in the rain
We all cut our wrists
And the misfits kiss
And we chase our bliss back into pain

Kill this nerve
And calculate a metal curve
Written in a television tome
And hold this gaze
I busted up a sterile place
Abandoned in a Minnesota home

Mary cries to sleep
And the winter’s deep
With every pill flushed down the drain
We call cut our wrists
And the misfits kiss
And we chase our bliss back into pain

Hold my heartache

The Mayo Clinic

Written By: Sam Jacobs

My fingers on the wall
The basket’s in the hall
Waiting for the telephone to ring
But when it does I can’t say anything

The pain is crawling through the glow
Everyone died who told me so

We’re not living in our hearts tonight

I’m sitting in the room
The doctor’s got my tape recorder to spell my doom
Trying to tell myself what I should see
There’s nothing warm in cold infinity

I’ve been crying on the floor
My baby’s all cracked up in New York

We’re not living in our hearts tonight


Everything Is Good - LP - 2006 (as Lipstik)
There Is Only One Thing - Digital EP - 2008 (as Lipstik)
Pain Is a Reliable Signal - LP - May 16, 2009

Set List

Broken Bow
If You See Something, Say Something
The Ways That We Destroy Ourselves
Don't Look Away
St. Marys
Hold My Heartache
Dirty White Coats
Valentine's Day
Life Is Hard

We sometimes cover:
All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem) - 17th best cover of 2008 (
Pieholden Suite (Wilco)
Hearts on Fire (Cut Copy)