Ross Flournoy founded Apex Manor after the 2009 demise of The Broken West. Named after his Los Angeles “zen place,” Apex Manor was the idyllic apartment of his close friend and long-time collaborator Adam Vine.
Having relocated from the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles to Pasadena, Flournoy was enjoying suburban tranquility, but his car wouldn’t start and he found himself isolated. He whiled away the days cleaning the house, sitting on the porch, and splitting tallboys with the gardeners who worked nearby. And battling a case of writer’s block.
Enter an unlikely source of inspiration: an online songwriting contest. NPR’s Monitor Mix was soliciting original songs from readers, giving the prospective songwriter one weekend to write, record, and submit. Flournoy decided to give it a go and set about writing and recording at home. At least he would be doing something with his time. The song, “Under the Gun,” turned out to be about the process itself.
Now feeling inspired for the first time in months, Flournoy began writing at a feverish clip, penning more than 25 songs, nearly a third of which were co-written by Adam Vine. Flournoy then teamed up with former Broken West bandmate Brian Whelan to record some proper demos, and Apex Manor was born.