words by tom johnson
Hnry Flwr (Henry Flower?) seemingly has a thing about blossoming plants, professed not only with his name but also in the title of his new EP, Flowerama, which we’re very pleased to present a full stream of below. And yet his music is far from flowery. In fact, one might go as far to say that it’s the antithesis of such things, a wilted plant, left dehydrated in some desolate room, faded by the light, a distinct depiction of the relentless passing of time.
Such things, as music has so often taught us, can still be beautiful however, and Flowerama is certainly that, these weighty guitar-pop songs creeping out in to the world something like David Bazan with slightly more melodrama but just as much despondency. “It’s been a while so I think I’ll write a song that I can sing to myself,” Hugh Boylan (not “Henry Flower”) sings as the record’s foreword, and one certainly gets the sense that the following five tracks are, often powerfully, that; this songwriters’ own sentiments and demons examined and then spat-out in to the world, via a swathe of crunchy guitars and subtle key arrangements.
The opening two tracks pack a hearty punch, and even more so in retrospect once the heavyweight balladry of centre-piece ‘Little Brother‘ hits, the track’s brooding five-minutes so overwhelmingly cumbersome it’ll likely stop you in your tracks, wide-eyed and weighed down by its quiet, evocative power. ‘Down, In Carolina‘ adds nuanced synths to Hnry Flwr’s more muscular blueprint, and they shift the mood completely, the track sitting as a strung-out hangover of what preceded it.
Closing track ‘Context (Trans – Pecos, On A Full Moon, On A Monday)‘ is, an acoustic live cut/studio demo “where the meaning lies in the context”. While it misses the formidable crunch of the band that propel the other tracks forward (a band which contains members of Foxygen, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, no less) it’s still a big ol’ dash of humanity and realness that it’d be difficult to fight against it inclusion here, given that Flowerama survives – née flourishes – on such aesthetics.
A heartening and poignant collection of songs, the EP gets a full release this Friday, via our friends over at Paper Garden Records, but dig in to the whole thing below right now.
June 16 – New York, NY – Berlin [EP Release] ((The Undercover Dream Lovers / Rhinestone))
June 23 – Queens, NY – Footlight ((The Big Drops // Great Woods – Album Release))
June 28 – New York, NY – Sofar Sounds
July 8 – Brooklyn, NY – Lantern Hall – Benefit for Galen ((Shadow of a Jaguar // Low Anxiety))
July 29 – New Haven, CT – The Spaceland Ballroom ((Elison Jackson, City Streets Country Roads))
Aug 3 – Brooklyn, NY – Our Wicked Lady ((Hey Anna))
Aug 15 – Brooklyn, NY – C’mon Everybody ((Elisa residency))