Review by Sean Lynch
RIYL: The Shins, Iron & Wine, The Mountain Goats
Recommended Tracks: Track 1 – “Why Would I Now?”, Track 2 – “Riverswim”, Track 5 – “Stateside”
The Decemberists have already given their fans a full plate with the release of their 7th LP What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, but have added onto that with their new EP Florasongs. At only five songs, the EP is simple, but carries some of the experimentation that occurred during the What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World recording sessions.
“Why Would I Now?” captures the essence of a song off of What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. Sounding like it could have been placed right alongside many of the songs on the main album. The piano on this song is lighter compared to “Fits & Starts” and compliments Colin Meloy’s fluffy voice.
“Fits & Starts” feels out of place on the EP. Colin Meloy channels his inner punk rocker, but doesn’t capture the full vocal sound that singers have from punk. The piano on the track is heavy and sounds out of control as it is crunched by the rough guitars. Even though the track is a step outside of the box for the band; it doesn’t go along with the band’s style of folk rock.
“Stateside” carries a different feel as well, but doesn’t feel as out of place. The ballad centers around Meloy’s voice and an electric guitar. The track sounds eerie as there are no other instruments on the song, but still carries the heart of the band as Meloy croons in sorrow, bringing large amounts of emotion to the song.
It is sad to think that Florasongs is the scrapings of The Decemberists’ past album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, but that’s what it comes off as. While it does sound similar, songs like “Fits & Starts” show a different side of the Decemberists and some of the experimentation behind What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. While it may not stick as the band’s most notable project; the songs are something extra to give back to their fans.