Article by KevW
It was sad to hear that the band Windham Flat were no more, especially as it was geography rather than "musical differences" or any kind of falling out that was the cause of their split, but every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it comes in the form of the debut EP from Ben Pearce who's joined by his Windham Flat compatriot, drummer Nate Brown. This new venture isn't a retread of what his former band were doing, with a more eclectic range of sounds and a different production style showing that Pearce is looking to the future more than seeking to relive former glories, and it's an approach that's paid dividends.
First single 'Say Hello' is lighter, perhaps a little poppier, and certainly more exotic. As an introduction to the album it's very fitting and points the way to a new sound that takes in surf, early Marc Bolan, alternative pop and even a hint of calypso. These are all blended together to form a fresh new style and a catchy tune. That tropical influence filters through onto the Latin-tinged alt-rock of 'Bloodlines' which is similarly stripped-down but somehow doesn't appear that way, perhaps due to heavy percussion and trebly effects. The fact that these songs work so well without thick instrumentation or complicated arrangements is a testament to the strength of the writing.
The classic sounds of slowie 'Pretender' are particularly affecting, journeying through '60s pop, shoegaze and acoustic singer-songwriter fare and coming out with a kind of sad indie lullaby. Vintage garage rock is tempered down and given a strange and eerie twist on 'Daisy Diamonds', which also touches on the warped psychedelia of Syd Barrett. The gorgeously ambient and ghostly 'Stockholm' provides a real highlight, with gentle washes of sound and soft vocals painting an ethereal picture that fans of dreampop will adore, and closer 'Last Lullaby' continues this vibe, acting as a woozy goodbye. In a short space of time this album moves from quirky indie-pop to sad and wistful beauty, but never dips in quality. A great set of songs that Pearce can be truly proud of.
Ben Pearce's website
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