If this album fell though a gap in the time/space continuum then you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a lost psychedelic rock album from 1970, released on a label like Deram Records, Liberty or Vertigo. Only the modern production would betray that Flowersis a new album: the debut release from Swedish hippy collective Children Of The Sun. Undeniably drawing their inspiration from the music and idealism of the late sixties, Children Of The Sun suffuse their classic rock sound with psychedelia and soul and wrap it up in sunny folk-tinged positivity.
Instrumental opener ‘Flowers Intro’ perfectly sets the tone of the album as a pulsing bass guitar and gentle percussion provides the rhythm as keyboards and jangling guitars intermingle with birdsong and vinyl sound effects to create a mellow back-to-nature feel. ‘Her Game’ initially breaks the mood but quickly settles into an ebullient slice of melodic rock built around a rolling guitar riff. ‘Emmy’ is the album’s standout track however: an anguished, haunting blues number about a soul that wants to die locked inside a body that fights to survive. The choral harmonies frame a spine-tingling lead vocal from Josefina Berglund Ekholm as the song builds to a climax. Wonderful stuff.
Phased drums introduce the slide guitar driven feel-good groove of ‘Hard Workin’ Man, which features some Lindsey Buckingham style finger picking from Jacob Hellenrud and an unexpected vocal breakdown at the midpoint, whilst the chorus of ‘Sunchild’ permeates the consciousness, even its shifting blues rock verses curl around the listener. As an old hippy though, the title track is one of my favourites here – a ray of musical and lyrical light, warmth and encouragement that harnesses music’s ability to soothe and uplift the spirit.
The band cite Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as influences, but it is possible to detect other sources of inspiration – Jefferson Airplane, Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac, Allman Brothers Band as well as more recent acts such as Blues Pills and Maida Vale – but, rather than descend into pastiche, Children Of The Sun have used these influences to create their own sound and it is refreshing to hear a young band playing this style of music and doing it well.
There is scope for these songs to be expanded and developed live but, clocking in at just under 35 minutes Flowerswiselykeeps things concise. It is an enjoyable and promising debut album from a band that I hope to hear much more from.
Review by David Waterfield
- Flowers Intro
- Her Game
- Hard Workin’ Man
- Like A Sound
- Beyond The Sun