(Photo Credit - Graham Tolbert)
Advance Review - Flock of Dimes: Head of Roses (April 2, 2021)
Head of Roses is the second solo album released by Jenn Wasner under the name Flock of Dimes. Heartbreak is the theme of the album, so I wasn’t expecting it to be too much fun.
"2 Heads" starts the album with a focused but synthy and distorted vocal, the track becomes spacey but Wasner’s voice is beautiful throughout, holding the track together. "Price of Blue" has a rocky guitar part, it reminds me of Elastica and it’s easy to lose yourself in the soundscape.
"Two", despite the emotional seriousness of its subject matter feels like a chilled out beach tune. This album is packing an emotional punch and "Hard Way" continues this with the vocal again taking centre stage over the fun effects. "Walking" raises the tempo just a notch, it’s a nice folky number. "Lightning" floats along gently but doesn’t really seem to go anywhere. By contrast "One More Hour’s" bouncy start makes you want to listen up. The effects on this track are really interesting and work well with the vocal.
"No Question" is another floaty, ethereal track. "Awake for the Sunrise" is beautiful but, because it sounds like you would expect a sad song about broken relationships to sound it almost feels out of place, despite being on an album full of tracks on this theme - at this stage you expect something unusual to happen. The title track "Head of Roses" closes the album with a whimper rather than a bang.
This album wasn’t what I was expecting at all, the variety of electronic effects made for a really interesting listening experience whilst still retaining a surprising amount of warmth, despite the challenging nature of the subject matter. It certainly isn’t cheery, but it is a great listen if you are in a contemplative mood.
Highlights: "Price of Blue", "Walking", "One More Hour"
Rating - 3/5