ALBUM: Beach Novels – Flowers From Your Garden

After a heavy downpour of singles, Beach Novels return with their sophomore album, Flowers From Your Garden. It is remarkable that we are able to hear a second record so soon after their debut, released just only over a year ago. However, the swift turnaround does not diminish the musical successes on the new record – if anything, this is the band at their tightest, at their most concise, and ultimately their strongest. 

It makes sense that Flowers From Your Garden is Beach Novel’s best work to date; between albums the band have become a fixture in the live midwestern indie scene, playing extensively and honing their craft. Also settled is their place in genre. Flowers is a far dreamier record than Warm Air, with songs like ‘Home Movie’ and ‘See You’, leaning heavily on reverberated vocals and jangly guitars. The band describe their music as “late night drive music”, and it is most evident in moments on their hazier tracks that this statement is most apt. However, it isn’t all luscious waves of dream-pop. On ‘Conversations’, vocals on the chorus launch into screams, with a flurry of furious guitars sprinting after. ‘Leave Me Alone’ is in a similar vein, with vocals arguably far more intense than the first half of the record. These two songs almost sound like a completely different band, with such heavy shifts in tone and sonic language, you would be forgiven that it was so. 

The rest of, Flowers From Your Garden pivots firmly back into dream-pop territory; ‘Hate It Now’, still retains that heavy edge with a subtler execution, and ‘Deathbed’ concludes the record with anthem-like choruses and warmly sprinkled synths. These shifts in sound are jarring at first, even disorienting, but after a couple of listens it all makes sense. Beach Novels wear their influences on their sleeves, pulling sounds from every direction possible, blending them together to create a sonic language that is completely unique to them. The combination of dream-pop and screamo isn’t necessarily brand new, but when a band like this can execute it with such conviction, it can’t help but be admired. 

Beach Novels is an exciting band, and I am confident that, Flowers From Your Garden is merely a taste of what they have to offer. 

Written by Callum Foulds