So this is another one from the old days of free mp3 downloads, and similar to the group This End Up, I initially had trouble finding anything about this band or song…at least a correlation between the two.
There are two bands I’ve found that go by Subway Riders; one from Portugal, and a German band that broke up in 2000. Searching the German group’s bandcamp page, it seemed possible this was the band, even though “Flaming Star” wasn’t available there to listen to. I sent an email, and was excited to get a positive reply from songwriter Jörg Falbe that he had indeed written the song!
The track was actually written following the dissolution of Subway Riders in 2000 as part of a solo projects by Jörg, though never officially released. It was one of a trilogy of singles written by Jörg. In his own words:
It was written in a time when I broke ties with everything that had defined my life up until that point and was moving into a new city. It is part of a trilogy of my mindset around that time: “Nihil”, “Ignorance” and “Flaming Star”. “Flaming Star” was the light that was supposed to guide me through all of this into a better future. “Between the far and near, the mystery and the fear, there is a place to disappear.“
The gorgeous, hazy ballad drifts along on fuzzed out acoustic guitars and aching vocals that always connected with me. The melancholy in the music had a perfect juxtaposition to the hopefulness in the lyrics (“My close and distant friend, we know there is an end, to all the words we never meant”). The somber vibes of the track moved me and gave me a feeling of peace, and have managed to stick with me for two decades.