EP: White Flowers – Within A Dream review

by Dave Bertram

In delivering their atmospheric calling card with new conviction, White Flowers produce their strongest collection of tracks to date

The isolation of the last twelve months has borne some of the finest work many an artist has released over the course of their careers. And in Within A Dream – a ride of ambiguous and beautiful, gothic Lynchian pop – sonic art duo, White Flowers, have carved out something special from enforced hibernation to deliver their strongest and most complete release to date.

Where previous singles Night Drive and Portra built layers and loops of MBV-esque swirling sounds, intelligent textures and piercing vocals that sat deep in the mix, the pair’s new EP slims down this signature approach to produce four tracks that have greater conviction and invoke more emotion, bringing to mind the sounds of Cocteau Twins, Japanese Breakfast, Julianna Barwick and Red House Painters.

Working alongside producer Ali Chant (Portishead, Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding), Katie Drew and Joey Cobb talk of exploring disassociation and in opening track Within A Dream – they create a tonal divergence in a dual lead vocal to deliver their most sparkling chorus to date, as Drew opines that ‘nothing stays the same’. And while the voices lay atop their trademark of driving bass and swirling mix of synths, guitar and otherworldly samples, the sound is selective and clear.

Blue May draws back the pace to an addictive slow dance that sways with a real confidence and purpose, clean chords and arpeggios guiding a dynamic vocal performance that shifts from a sultry whisper to a soaring chorus that lingers. While You Caught Me brings with it a sonic atmosphere that bares the hallmarks of Victoria Legrand, as the duo apply their signature approach to create a hazy, village green summer swing for their own version of Mama Cass’ Didn’t Want To Have To Do It.

This short collection of tracks is intoxicating in its dynamism and instrumentation, and showcases a duo that can blend big, consuming soundscapes with pop songcraft.

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