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In the Summer of 2007, Scarlet Moreno, a Texas native, and Trevor Smith, a boy from Missouri, met in the land of the Ozarks. There, in a matter of hours, they realized that they had loved each other their entire lives. Soon after, Moreno moved to New York City to pursue an acting career at NYU, while Smith honed his song-writing skills and played the back alleys and dingey bars of the Midwest. After four and a half years, through layers of broken hearts and an impossible distance, they have emerged as Flowerglass.
The two have cultivated an homage to the golden age of music. With Moreno’s vocal stylings echoing the likes of Jim Morrison and Patsy Cline, and Smith’s penchant for surrealism and poignant narration, Flowerglass invites its listeners into a world littered with road maps, lost souls, and hopeful romantics.
The latest ‘Flowerglass’ album, ‘THE LIONS’ – recorded and mixed by Jonathan James, mastered by Carl Saff and produced by the band themselves, has no songs that can be classified as “pretty but uneventful,” as most of this album is breathtakingly melodic and beautiful. Led by the sultry vocals of Scarlet Moreno, this somber album paints vivid scenes of romantic longing, transcendental turmoil and emotional nostalgia.
Trevor Smith constructs the seductively sparse musical settings, and he’s also a fine singer himself, displaying his craft most effectively on the desperate “It Takes A Dream To Kill A Dream” and “Summer Wind Descent,” a catchy mid-tempo melody, where the duo evidence deliciously devious pop-song writing influences, from the famed Fleetwood Mac pair, Christine McVie and Lyndsay Buckingham.
Other evocative and inspirational highlights are “The Lions Of Santa Fe” and “Bukowski,” while “Fake Stars” is a rare pledge of devotion and honesty on an album brimful of sad relationship songs.
However, the real showstopper on this album is the devastatingly sad and nostalgic “Graceland,” constructed almost exclusively apon Scarlet Moreno’s heartfelt vocals and a beautifully strummed acoustic guitar rhythm. Scarlet’s voice is an instrument of exquisite dolour, which so acutely dominates songs that dwell on relationships in their terminal phases, or in their scorched aftermaths.
If you listen to “THE LIONS” for the first time, you’ll find that one song will strike profoundly, and resonate with you for days. You’ll think it’s the best song you’ve heard in a long time. As the song starts to wear down, you’ll find that another song on the album, is perhaps the best song you’ve heard in a long time. This will continue until you realize that this is one of those albums where there’s absolutely not a bad moment. This turns out to be a great collection of very strong, simple melodies.
The emotion runs deep and true throughout without getting overbearing. A lot of this depends on the songs themselves, which are straightforward and powerful. But it’s even more to do with the spare but rich, acoustic production. The vocals are pitch perfect, and the choice of instrumentation prevents any song from getting overdone. When not to play is often as important as when to play. “THE LIONS” is an album where every note seems to have a place and a meaning. The overall mood is thoughtful, profound and inspirational.
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