Some things remain a mystery to me; how there are always enough potatoes, Donald Trump's hair 'style' (Actually just DT altogether), black holes, the joy in pot holing, Coronation Street and... amongst many other things, why Flowers have not yet 'broken through'. Maybe it's luck, timing, air play, the alignment of the stars; maybe it's that so far a wider audience has just not been quite ready for their brand of seraphic Indie Pop. Whatever the reason the new Flowers album, 'Everybody's Dying To Meet You', should go a long way to help reset their trajectory skyward.
Following on from their stunning debut, 'Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do', the new album builds on their core sound with a lot more confidence, a loss of innocence and an enhanced, more electrified, delivery. Where their debut rather charmingly, but somewhat timidly, explored their potential their new release seems to realise all the pent up potency and undoubted potential.
Flowers have lost none of what made their debut such a great record. The trio's close knit interplay and balanced performance allows each element to shine. Jordan Hockley's percussive back bone continues through 'Everybody's Dying To Meet You' and it once again not only acts as a formidable platform on which each track is built but is in itself an individual pleasure. Sam Ayre's (Flowers founding member) guitar is as tuneful as it was, however, this time around it has a sound that's not afraid of its power or its energy and Rachel Kenedy's vocal? Well, that remains a thing of profound beauty and only ignites pure wonderment.
On the new album there is less of the inward intimacy of the former highlights, 'If I Tell You' and 'I Love You', and more of a raucous abandon. Bernard Butler may have helped the band immensely with the first album but this one, produced in the glamour of Walthamstow, by Brian O'Shaughnessy, feels freer and more liberated and as such is a lot more alive and vibrant than its predecessor.
The ten tracks on the new release are headed up by the first single to be taken from the album, 'Pull My Arm'. The initial jangle of swirling guitar, tight beat and characteristically falsetto vocal soon give way to a terrific blast of unleashed angry and aggravated guitar, intermittently thrusting into the wave of sound. Sam's guitar sound has clearly developed and been allowed more room to breathe. It now has a bite and a fire that were only hinted at previously. 'Bitter Pill' (Percussively reminiscent of Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Darklands'), 'Russian Doll' and 'Tammy' further this trend and show just what brilliance the band are capable of.
The beautiful, articulate, despairing 'Intrusive Thoughts', "band favourite", 'Ego Loss', 'All At Once' and honest, unwavering surety of 'My Only Friend' share more similarities with the band's debut but even here the sound seems more assured and each of the band members contribution far bigger than it's resultant whole. Each track is as complete and composed as you could ask for. The mix of up tempo tunes, angular guitar, heady vocals and mesmeric arrangements give rise to a fabulously enjoyable cocktail of invigorating, fresh, immediate and relevant music.
'Everybody's Dying To Meet You' is brim full of terrific tunes. The ten track package couldn't be a more sweetly set if it tried. It's succinct, pure, potent, and above all superb. The three track sequence of album pinnacle 'Tammy', moody and melodramatic 'Russian Doll' (Check out the brooding bass line) and more acoustically accented 'My Only Friend' are worth buying this album for alone.
Flowers are a great band clearly on the way to greater things. The songs, their musical relationship, the production and the delivery are all spot on. Add in one of THE most unique, beguiling, bewitching, beautiful and angelic vocals that you're ever likely to hear from Rachel Kenedy and you have a stupendous proposition. Don't delay, go hear Flowers for yourself.
Flowers On Facebook -
All I Want For Christmas is widely regarded as one of the best festive tunes every year
Pearl Jam announced 14 dates in the UK and Europe in June and July 2018.