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Alternative & Indie - Released February 2, 2018 | Fueled By Ramen
Oregon's Flor make effusive, sparkling, synth-based pop that's just as accessible, utilitarian, and stylishly designed as the bright, modular carpet-squares they share a name with. Admittedly, while their debut full-length album, 2017's come out. you're hiding, does hit you in the contemporary sweet spot where hooky indie pop-meets-atmospheric electronica, it never really inspires your innermost passion. The problem is that while no one would ever accuse them of ripping off another band's sound, they also never really sound particularly like themselves. Lead singer/songwriter Zachary Grace has a sweetly delicate, often breathy croon that the band frames in shimmering keyboards, pulsing basslines, kinetic bits of electric guitar, and jaunty midtempo grooves. Try and imagine a more cherubic male version of Imogen Heap's yearning electronic sound and you'll get a sense of what Grace and Flor are going for here. It's a sound almost tailor-made to appeal to the broadest possible spectrum of MGMT and Fun. fans. In that sense, they fit nicely alongside other similarly inclined bands like the Naked and Famous, M83, and St. Lucia. Admittedly, there are some nice hooks here and cuts like the lead-off "Guarded," "Warm Blood," and the buoyant 1975-esque "Where Do You Go" work as memorable mixtape fodder, with enough melodic juice and rhythmic pulse to keep you bopping along. Almost by design, however, Flor fit into a background aesthetic, a pleasing amalgam of scene settings perfect for stylish mid-day outings, relaxed coffee shop get-togethers, and of course, movie soundtrack romance. Which isn't to say Flor come off as callously studied. Oddly, despite their inoffensiveness, they sound utterly earnest and seem to be achieving exactly the kind of mild musical vision they’re going for. Ultimately, this album offers a soft, almost too-pleasant sound that, like good carpeting, keeps you comfortable and complements the room, but otherwise rarely attracts attention. ~ Matt Collar
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