With a stunning follow-up to their first record, GLOW, Pittsburgh dream-pop band Flower Crown returned with the release of Sundries on Friday, May 24. It is a melodic, synth-filled album with beautiful production and desolate lyrics, and it strikes a unique balance between lazy and moving, languid and expressive.
The echo and reverb on this record contribute to both a vintage sound and a haunting mood; the production makes the record hazy. “Summers in LA,” for example, feels warm and thick, just like a stiff summer heat that renders everything within its grasp lazy. Even tracks with more structure, like “Stranger Things,” which has a beautiful jewel-toned guitar picking behind faraway vocals, are mellow and moody.
At times, however, that intensity makes it difficult to discern lyrics because the instrumentals and synth easily overpower gentle vocals. Though this makes for a gorgeous sound, it’s a shame to miss desolate, vivid lyrics – which are listed on the album’s Bandcamp page for those who are curious – like, “I felt your waves a world away/And held the breeze across my face” (“Your Waves”).
Still, though it is a record of average length, clocking in at only 38 minutes with 10 songs, the atmospheric music is mesmerizing, and it is easy to get lost while listening to lush synth-pop melodies and softly crooning vocals. It is all dreamy and light and almost fluid, and tracks like “Your Waves” feel languid and mellow, like pushing halfheartedly against a cool underwater current on a too-warm day. “Resting Place,” too, is trance-inducing with its pulsing, echoing vocals and catchy melodies.
The highlight of the record, however, is “Bender Szn.” Released as a single in March, it is a chill track with beautiful melodies and plenty of echo. It evokes a powerfully bittersweet feeling with lyrics like, “We’re blowing our nights/We’re wasting our days,” and though there is enough structure in the drums to keep the song moving, it is still pleasantly light and floats along for its duration.
There is something ethereal in the lush, hazy music of Flower Crown’s Sundries, and though it is sometimes difficult to discern lyrics because of the instruments overpowering soft vocals, the music itself is strangely evocative.
Flower Crown is working on setting up a string of tour dates for the summer, so keep an eye on the band’s social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for more information. In the meantime, check out the record below: