GONE TOO SOON: Straylight Run (2003 – 2010)
Spawned out of the ashes of one of many Taking Back Sunday changes, Straylight Run was a new project from members John Nolan and Shaun Cooper. Moving from the emo-pop-punk genre that brought their former band into the mainstream spotlight, Straylight Run was more focused on instrumentation and a more adult sound. While they did not achieve much notoriety or commercial success, the band’s few releases were all solid works that deserved attention from more than just former or current TBS fans. Just a month prior to the announcement that the two members would be returning to the band, Straylight had been placed on an indefinite hiatus as of early 2010 due to “financial complications”.
Their debut, self-titled album was released in 2004 on Victory Records and managed to get some airplay on the then up-and-coming Fuse TV with the single “Existentialism On Prom Night”. Filled with ballads and great lyrical content, Straylight Run proved that Nolan was capable of carrying the role as a frontman on his own. The band’s next release was an EP entitled Prepare To Be Wrong that increased any fan’s excitement about the direction the band was taking. Songs like “Hands In The Sky (Big Shot)” and “A Slow Descent” will go down as a couple of Straylight Run’s best material. 2007′s The Needles The Space saw the emergence of Nolan’s sister Michelle as a more prominent member. Singles like “The Words We Say” and “Soon We’ll Be Living In The Future” did not garner much, if any, attention from radio or video programs, but continued to prove to fans that the band was capable of making great tunes. With a few more digital EP releases, the band saw no increase in sales, popularity, or success. I can only assume this is what they spoke of when they mentioned any financial struggles that caused their hiatus.
John Nolan has stated previously that he would be open to recording more material with Straylight Run, but with the reformation of the old Taking Back Sunday lineup, we can assume that is a great distance away. Michelle DaRosa has formed a new band, Destry, where she serves as the vocalist. I hope that one day Straylight does release some new material. I will always feel that Nolan serves as just a supporting act in TBS, while this was the time he got to prove himself as a true artist. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. If history has shown us anything, it’s that Taking Back Sunday will continuously change lineups and that might be good news for Straylight fans.