Flowers and Sea Creatures: A.M.
Buzzin' Fly Records

Though Flowers and Sea Creatures would seem to be the kind of outfit that would seem to find a more natural home on Strange Feeling, Buzzin' Fly's alternative-oriented sub-label, the group's latest EP, A.M., fittingly appears on Buzzin' Fly itself due, in part, to the contributions of Ewan Pearson and Lee Jones. The second single from the Montreal-based duo of singer-lyricist Graham Baxter and musician-producer Kosta Megalos follows last fall's debut Test Pressing EP and is a harbinger of what can be expected from the group's debut album scheduled for a spring release.

A melancholic thing of beauty, the group's “A.M.” original underlays deliciously winsome vocal melodies and glossy synthesizer textures with a pulsating disco-funk groove. The track blends what should be an oil-and-water arrangement of downcast melodicism and quietly euphoric beatsmithing into a powerfully affecting whole. Fred Everything (who co-produced the track with the band) provides both “Stripped Mix” and “Dubstrumental” takes on the song, the former a club-ready house banger that opens the tune up, strips down the vocal layers, and leaves lots of room for the bumping electro-groove to shine, moves the radiant instrumental version naturally pushes to an even greater degree. It's the Ewan Pearson and Lee Jones tracks, however, that truly warrant attention. The version by Pearson (who co-produced a track on the first EP and contributes to the album) kicks into glorious gear within the first minute and doesn't look back. Coming at the tune in progressive waves, Pearson builds tension by deepening the tune's swing and imbuing the song with an expansive production sheen that intensifies its euphoric grandeur. The bonus track for the digital release is actually a Jones remix of last year's “International” that previously appeared on his recent mix compilation for Berlin's Watergate club. Interestingly, the track isn't wholly dissimilar from “A.M.” in overall character, as both merge melancholy melodic elements with propulsive bottom ends.

March 2011