Brooklyn band Florist has quietly inched onto the watch list of several music sites.
Their October-released five-song EP “Holdly” stops you in your tracks with its sincere, open-book message and exposed vocals. Lo-fi vocals from sole songwriter Emily Sprague pull you in, such as this line from “Unholy Faces”: “We eat our souls and don’t bother to replace them,” and may speak to the anti-folk slant the indie-pop group espouses. The song “Vacation” uncorks a dreamy folk-pop haze of youth, its summertime infinities and uncertainties.
Sprague’s direct, plainspoken approach to the songwriting craft is dramatic all on its own. She knows how to say a lot more than she actually intones, which makes the rest of us able to bridge that human connection with Florist’s music.
It’s only a few months after “Holdly” and already the band is set to release their full-length album, “The Birds Outside Sang,” on Jan. 29.
The title track, the first single off the album, shows a clear maturity from “Holdly.” Sprague’s innocent vocals still show and now they’re set against a backdrop of ominous layers of synth and a steady beat sprinkled with lo-fi noise.
Then, over a steady high-pitched drone as Sprague begins to sing with her own words, the song divides in two.
“Do you and your friends want to come into the field and watch the fireworks shoot up into the air?” she asks drowsily. “Does the night sky terrify you and does the day sky mesmerize you and make you dream things better than the day?”
“The Birds Outside Sang,” is out Jan. 29 on Double Double Whammy.
The duo of Plaitum has been busy these days. Producer Matt Canham creates these glittery synthpop and electronic hooks, which curl and ebb around Abi Dersiley’s dramatic, vixen-y vocals. The London group have been friends since they were kids who connected through horror films, Massive Attack and Talking Heads.
Check out “Carousel,” the second release off their upcoming EP, listen below:
Dersiley told Stereogum that ” ‘ Carousel’ is basically about drowning in someone else’s deception,” and according to Canham, “Abi played these massive climatic chords on the keyboard and we just ran with the idea of making a really ’80s crescendo around it.”
Plaitum’s self-titled EP is out Dec. 4 on Wolf Tone records.
Although the stream of Floating Points’ debut album “Elaenia,” is no longer streaming at NPR Music, you can still hear it through a Spotify link there or on Soundcloud. It’s an extremely interesting angle on the electronic music scene.
Composer and producer Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) can sight-read music and once sang with the Manchester Cathedral Boys Choir. But he’s also a DJ, and began releasing singles as dubstep was finding its feet in England. That doesn’t completely explain his unusual music, which rarely involves vocals and relies often on live instruments like keyboards, as well as weeping string sections.
Shepherd incorporates jazz and its improvisations into synth and prog-rock. His take on these different styles (like on “Silhouettes (I, II, and III”) is freeing to hear, as experimentation in music should be.
In case you haven’t seen it, watch the gorgeous, trippy light show that is the video for “Silhouettes”:
Floating Points has just a few tour dates:
Oct 30 – Utrecht, NL – Catch Festival
Oct 31 Leuven, BE – Het Depot
Nov 2 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Nov 5 – Turin, IT – Club to Club
Nov 7 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Nov 17 London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall
Elaenia is out now on Luaka Bop in the U.S., and Pluto in the UK.