NYC Based chamberpop ensemble Flare, headed by songwriter/vocalist LD Beghtol (left)and multi-instrumentalist Charles Newman (right), blends classic pop with experimental, classical, country music and noise into a distinctive, contemporary sound. Rife with haunting vocals, lush keyboards, fragile ukuleles, delicate guitar and banjo textures and intense string arrangements, Flare is richly melodic and subtly unsettling. In a review of the album version of "Celebrate the misery," British baroque synthpop legend Momus said: "There's almost a machismo of melancholy [to the song]... to me that's very romantic." And CHICKFACTOR #12 called Flare's 1998 debut CD, BOTTOM (Tamper Evident), "the perfect music for lying on a chaise and wallowing in despair."
Merritt became aware of Flare's music - which he waggishly dubbed "acoustic Goth" in a TIME OUT article about the band - through his manager, Claudia Gonson. Beghtol and Merritt's association began with a shared love of obscure experimental pop and a keen interest in arcane musical instruments. While recording the now-classic 69 LOVE SONGS, Merritt availed himself of Beghtol's cache of vintage Marxophones, Tremoloas, Violin-Ukes, ukuleles and other musical toys - and Beghtol made his recorded keyboard debut with the Fields on his 1893 harmonium on their duet, "Xylophone Track." Additionally, Beghtol and Merritt - along with another 69 LOVE SONGS guest vocalist, Dudley Klute - perform under the moniker The Three Terrors.
Flare's dark sound has garnered favorable comparisons to Low, This Mortal Coil, Lisa Germano and Love among others. Recently Flare has performed with such well-respected artists as LOW, The Magnetic Fields, Elf Power, Robert Forrester, the Kletter Sisters, Mascott, Acetone,Science Park, and The Clientele.