Protagonists for the ostensible New Wave Americana, the Blueflowers have crafted one of the more purely emotional musical excursions I’ve heard thus far, in 2011. But they gracefully avoid any off-putting overflow of melancholy.
Indeed, as husband-wife duo Kate Hinote (vocals) and Tony Hamera (guitar) demonstrated with their murkily mesmeric Ether Aura, they know how to get you swooned and spooked at the same time. These are ballads for sadly/sublime sunsets and blustery, moonless evenings where you crate out the candles, stirring up all kinds of volatile yet inspiring emotions and resolute/re-affirming notions.
Adding the wholesome jangle of acoustic guitar (David Johnson), a soft and steadily plodding bass (Erica Stephens) and the sensible strut/tasteful brush of drums (Jim Faulkner), they conjure almost orchestral-feeling ballads ripe with reverb but tinged with twang, ultimately shining with the sensuous Hinote’s sad/spiritual/splendid voice.
The Blueflowers go for the jugular with the same gradualness of a summer night’s storm, steadily drawing their four minute sagas of heavy-hearts, love wrung and love wronged with deliberate envelopment. They set an evocative atmosphere almost instantly: (speaking for myself, I’m projected into) an ethereally dim lounge dotted with the fragile luminance of candles set atop the rickety tables that dot the scuffed floor, brightened fleetingly maybe by the glow of a nearby jukebox, hinting at antiquated aesthetics of a lonely night’s country ballad.
But they take you on almost more of an earnest sunshine-pop dreamscape rather than overly-heady psychedelia, and it’s benefited by penchants for surf-rock/dream-pop sandwiches, thus transcending, or at least ameliorating the hazy-blazey twang of
The Great Tribulation's CD Release Party.