(Dirty Bingo Records, out Fri 13 Apr 2018)
It’s easy to imagine a band writing an album, travelling between basements and bedsits all over London, with a certain sense of romanticism. Sit down to listen to Wild Notion, the new album from London/Massachusetts indie pop quintet Night Flowers, picture that exact writing process, and you’ll have romantic wistfulness coming out of your ears in minutes. Staring out a window on a rainy evening is recommended for maximum effect, and should be easy enough if you live in Scotland.
Produced in a studio that has since been demolished to create luxury apartments, Wild Notion is nothing if not an emotionally charged offering. Remarkably, and successfully, it manages to strike the delicate, unusual balance between light-hearted and melancholy. This results mainly from the carefully crafted mix of upbeat guitar from Chris Hardy and Greg Ullyart, energetic drumming from Zebedee Budworth, and the lilting, dreamy vocals of Boston-born Sophia Pettit.
Wild Notion opens with a track called Sandcastles, immediately setting the romantic tone for the entire album. The summery title and lively melody are guaranteed to get your head nodding contently, while Pettit’s ethereal voice gets straight to work on the heartstrings. Flowing seamlessly into Night Alive, and into the carpe diem-inspiring Resolver, the lyrics that talk of leaving it all behind will easily kindle a sense of wanderlust in any listener.
The standout track on Wild Notion, however, is definitely their experimental sixth track, Head On. With slower pacing and a more atmospheric melody, Night Flowers become strikingly reminiscent of The Cure, underscoring the overall romantic vibe of the album. That vibe is further enhanced with the beautifully final note struck in closing track Cruel Wind. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, the feeling of farewell in Pettit’s yearning vocals brings Wild Notion full circle with this track. Not only that, but Cruel Wind presents what’s sure to make for a magical encore at any Night Flowers live show.