The Dry Spells

Too Soon for Flowers

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Too Soon for Flowers is the debut album from the San Francisco by way of Bard College group the Dry Spells, a group that features several members of Citay (Tahlia Harbour, April Hayley, and Adria Otte, who all were a part of the Dry Spells before they teamed up with Citay). Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" is the last track on this album, and that pretty much says it all: the Dry Spells sound kind of like Fleetwood Mac (or more accurately, Stevie Nicks) revisited -- they're witchy, woodsy, folksy, and mysterious. They also sound like twangy, melodica-toting gypsies, especially on tracks like "Too Soon for Flowers" and "Evangeline." When they manage to pull off this eclectic, earthy sound well, they sound strange and darn near breathtaking, especially when it comes to the mountaintop-high harmonies on "Sruti." There are a few places, though ("Black Is the Color," the intro to "Sruti"), where the Dry Spells sound cloyingly new agey, almost as if they were Loreena McKennitt redux; Harbour, Hayley, and Otte's wispy-wild vocal harmonies sound fluffily, frothily esoteric when they're paired with too much "mystical" instrumentation. So that's Too Soon for Flowers' first stumble; the second is the band's cover of "Rhiannon." It's serviceable, it's loyal, and all it does is make you want to put down Too Soon for Flowers and pull out Fleetwood Mac's back catalog. It's the kind of thing that makes this album sound a bit slapdash -- and for a disc that was presumably around six or seven years in the making (the Dry Spells formed in 2002), that's not a good sign.

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