We've already had A Flock Of Seagulls, now we have Flock of Dimes which is the very slick pop project of Wye Oake member Jenn Wasner. Wasner sings sweetly over a guitar pop/electronica hybrid with the occasional clever production to keep things interesting. Certainly aiming high, this has been mixed by 'super' producer John Congleton.
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I kinda forgot Wye Oak existed but I don’t see why my complacency means they shouldn’t carry on with their artistic pursuits, so let’s celebrate Flock of Dimes, the new solo project from the indie pop band’s Jenn Wasner. If you listened to Wye Oak you probably already know how well they could master tone and smoothness when it suited them, so it might not surprise you to hear the glistening electronic pop affectations of ‘If You See Me, Say Yes’.
At first, it'd seem this record is all things nice and squeaky, riding a very niche pop wave between the last Pure Bathing Culture and the synth-pop record Rogue Wave made that nobody really rated (except, of course, me). The beats on display are initially simple and accentuating, creating adequate rhythms and leaving Wasner alone to pursue a medley of gorgeous harmonic arrangement, unabashed synth and glassy guitar chords. It's the middle section and beyond you want to watch out for, where this record becomes more of a hidden experiment than anything.
It fakes out, does this record: it sounds like a summative listen, a record that appears largely homogenous and muted in its hooks, but dramatic corners soon reveal themselves: “Semaphone” breaks out of place with a frenetic bassline and a climactic hook, while “Ida Glow” takes an almost Krautrock route, its glassy guitar and distant vocalisations kept afloat by a lovely looping synth pattern. “Flight” continues this sequence of dislocation with a pretty fucking weird song, arranged from diluted guitar picks, washy synth and occasional brass bustle. Listen beyond its early tunes, and this record becomes a versatile gem, a record that proves well how many different patterns Wasner can perpetuate, and indeed, break apart from.
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- If You See Me, Say Yes by Flock of Dimes
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