Album: flowerguts – Everything God Isn’t

Everything God Isn’t was released in April by 18-year-old, Salem, Oregon songwriter Tomcat, who has recorded under Flowerguts name for the past four years. From the beginning, the album’s heartfelt songs are enveloped in lo-fi warble; siren-like, pitch-bent plucked strings and keys, and psych-pop folk sentiments which made me feel very much at home. A kindred spirit in the nostalgic possibilities of memory.

There is a dreamlike and hazy quality that permeates the album and a playfulness to those subtle production details that enrich and intrigue. Sometimes they veer towards By Coastal Cafe-esque full-on lofi creak and hiss but are held in melodic check by the consistency of their beautiful, Elephant Six evoking song-craft. The one foot in 60s psychedelia meets Dusk at Cubist Castle four-track experimentation fills each song with a sense of naive wonder.

There are twanging notes that undulate like Bagpuss’s old tape oscillations; there are the occasional odd spoken word interjections, spacey, freak-folk moments, an underlying fuzz and crackle; but above all, there remains throughout an ear for elegant simplicity underpinned by a natural knack for melody. Vocally the approach is understated but impactful, rising now and then above a hushed whisper or whispered croon. It sometimes feels more fully folk-tinged in the sporadic finger-picking or recalls Red Hash‘s spaced-out gem in the loping quality to the slowly strummed acoustic guitars. Each song moves along unhurried and natural. Each song feels at home.

There is a lovely, hazy, woozy ambiance present here; a stoned simplicity but one rich in wonky adornments that warble in and out of discordance like a battery-drained cassette player. The vibrating tones of the child-like keys at the album’s conclusion are glorious in themselves.

I love this set of songs. I urge you to dive right in.

Written by M. A. Welsh (Misophone)