Flowers

Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do

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London indie pop trio Flowers formed in the time-honored tradition of bored roommates making music in their living room, inspired equally by the canon of melancholic fuzz pop that came before them and a lack of anything much else to do. If you're listening for them, these insular, housebound beginnings can be heard in Flowers' bright but uneven debut Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do. The album smacks of newfound possibility, and sounds very much created in a bubble, despite production from veteran producer Bernard Butler. Across the album, Flowers wear their influences on their sleeves, channeling the minimalism of Young Marble Giants on tracks like album-closer "Stuck" as well as the dark, fuzzy wistfulness of noise pop bands like Black Tambourine or Henry's Dress on tunes like "Young" and the bouncy "Lonely." There are even hints of twee pop à la early K Records artists like Beat Happening or Lois in the simplistic chord changes and woozy melodies of "All Over Again." These reference points are offset by vocalist/bassist Rachel Kenedy's ethereal, cloudy vocals. The dreamy otherworldliness of Kenedy's voice transforms even the tunes that border on upbeat scrappiness into lush dream pop. Standout track "Forget the Fall" shows what happens when all of these strange elements come together in one fantastically paced pop tune. The album's shortcomings are less about weak tunes and inconsistencies and more about flow. The songs start to sound incredibly similar even before the midway point, and with 14 tracks, the similarity drags into monotony quickly. There's also a sense that Flowers is a band so new to recording and songwriting that every idea got included, even the ones that detract somewhat from the final product. Strange guitar parts linger here and there when they could have been cut from the song structure; a far-off drum machine sounds in the distance, seemingly without purpose. There are some moments here that read as either slightly convoluted or just naive choices from a young band. When Flowers overcomes these problems with flow, they come up with some incredibly strong and straightforward fuzzy indie pop tracks. Do What You Want To, It's What You Should Do would probably have been better suited as a brilliant EP than a debut album that tends to drag, but it holds plenty of promise nonetheless and points to brighter things to come.

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