I’ll say it from the outset: I love this album. I love everything about it. There is just something about it that manages to tickle that bit of my brain that provokes slavish adoration…and that’s a bit of my brain that doesn’t get much tickling.
It’s not that there’s anything here that you haven’t necessarily heard before; in fact, there are some very clear points of reference that would give you some idea of what to expect here: Nick Zammuto of ‘the books’ fame takes on mastering duties (which should give you some clue as to the sounds here) but it is 2010′s beautiful album ‘Bridge Carols’ by Laura Gibson and Ethan Rose that provides the most tangible precedent set by other artists. ‘The Language of Flowers’ contains a similar sonic palette to this landmark album and manages to evoke a comparable emotional response which, like ‘Bridge Carols’, straddles that apparently unbridgeable divide between revelling in the intricate minutiae of day-to-day life and a quasi-numinous, otherworldly detachment. There is a perfect marriage between traditional organic instrumentation and unabashed electronic processing that retains the warmth of the source material and augments it with glitches, cuts, pops and clicks. It’s a combination that is often tried out and found on many albums but rarely as successfully as you’ll find here.
From the stage-setting opening fizz of radio static, distant vocals and woozy taped guitar, we are plunged into “Static Rowing”, a hypnotic looped lullaby of subdued dusty tones, vinyl crackle, piano, tumbling guitar phrases and ethereal voice that fades into and out of consciousness like the external world during the initial stages of sleep. “If I Were an Artery” follows, which seems to reference Jan Jelinek style cuts and loops and slowly morphs into a kind of subdued lounge jazz track that retains an unmistakeable abstraction at its core. As the album progresses, a distinct vision emerges that touches on all the major musical tricks that we find time and again in contemporary electro/acoustic/folk music – drones, field recordings, chiming music-box tones, tape/vinyl/radio hiss, processed guitars, hushed or disembodied vocals – and somehow manages to configure them in a way that makes them all sound fresh again….AND does so in a way which allows a fairy tale melodicism to emerge amongst the delicate experimentation so that you never forget that you’re listening to music and not just sound.
I can honestly say that its been a long time since I’ve been so captivated by an album as I have been by ‘The Language of Flowers’. It just seems so personal – the entire album seems to whisper assurances that life is good. Trite though the suggestion might be, this album would be the ideal soundtrack to lying on your back in a rowing boat with the sun and shadows playing across half-closed eyes on a Sunday afternoon – blissful, peaceful and dreamlike. - John McCaffrey for Fluid Radio