Okay. I’m not one to grab albums via promo emails. I always feel a little dirty when I do. I prefer to get my music the old fashioned way, internet pirating. ARRR! But this one had three little words in the email I just couldn’t… COULDN’T ingore. No, no, no, not “hot naked chicks”, but the following:
Seriously… a free album of modern Canadian Indie-prog??? I’d be a fool-hardy amorican to pass that up!!! My first intention was to write them back with basically what I just wrote in the first “sentence” of this paragraph, but I stopped. What if I don’t like it? What if I get all pumped up only to listen to a bunch of jack-offs jacking-off into a jacked-in microphone? What is “prog” to one, may not be “prog” to me!
I discarded my excited & impulsive email, deciding to wait, play it tight & “close to the chest” as gamblers tend to say, though I’m not really a gambler, I don’t even play the lottery, though it does crack me up when the lottery gets up to, oh say, $80 million and suddenly people feel like the ridiculous odds are worth their dollar. Whatever. People (me included, usually) are funny.
Speaking of people and the funny things we do… You know what one of my very favourite things we, human beings that is, do? The Knowing Glance. I noticed the other day that I do it all the time. Think about it, it’s one of those things that separates us from “them”, and by them I mean the dirty animals, you know, those… creatures… that don’t even wipe. I’ll be in a Tsuru Nation World Domination Strategy meeting and someone will be jibber-jabbering on & on, and you look over to someone, you catch each other’s eyes, and, instead of looking away, you make a slight face, slight enough that no one would ever really notice unless they happened to be watching for that 0.13 seconds it took to make it, but the information that’s transmitted, oh my! It’s like reading body language on crack! You can express interest, annoyance, concern, deep thought, in a split second, across the room, no words spoken, and the other person receives it, and is right there, in your place, on your page. Better than twitter & instant messaging combined!!!
My favourite? It’s slight complicated, it requires a follow-up glance… it goes a little something like this. You look at Jane, she feels the eyes and looks over to you, you ever so slightly raise one eyebrow, juuuuust a little bit, while simultaneously lifting your eyes just a little up and away as if following a little rainbow that’s coming out of Jane’s head. Only, instead of staying turned away looking for a pot of gold, you come back to Jane’s eyes to make sure she received the message that the person speaking or the meeting in general is full of all kinds of ignorant hot air. And yep, she’s got it. It’s The Knowing Micro-Eye-Roll Glance… I don’t think you could write a full prose email that explains all your just conveyed in that glimmer of time.
A variation is to keep eye contact, dip your nose down just a smidge while leaning the head forward even less, going a little “dead eyed”. Good one, it says, “Hey Jane, I wish to all hell & heaven this idiot would shut the fuck up already!”
HAHA! Passive aggressiveness at it’s most subtle? I don’t know, but it’s one of those awesomely odd things we humans do. I wonder if dogs ever give Knowing Glances to each other? But it’s not always for evil… It’s also just to establish a connection, a little glance & smile and suddenly comfort has just been transferred across the table, a little “I’m with you, man”.
But you didn’t come here to discuss the odd little things humans do, did you? No, you are here for a little music and in this case, Flotilla’s One Hundred Words For Water!
The million-dollar question…. is it indeed Montrealionian pop/prog? Well, I can’t personally confirm they are from Montreal, I can only assume they aren’t lying about that. For all I know, they hail from Brantford, Ontario, spending their days pining for another cup of Tim Horton’s
Are they pop? Kinda. Though not in their use of instrumentation, song structure, melody, lyrics… other than that, sure. Why not? It’s really their vocals that are maybe their most “poppy”, only because they are led by a lovely & easy to digest Veronica Charnley. But even to call that pop is a misnomer — Ooo… big word there T — as the way the vocals are so front and center, allowing you to hear the words, the message, it’s almost folkish in that sense.
But let’s get to the meat and taters to why I even let myself be tainted by a free album…. The Prog. Is it? Did they bring the big “P” without even disguising it as some other genre or whatever — I’m looking at you “math rock” people — by mixing up time structure, melodies, themes, adding a level of complexity that takes us far and away from the verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus world the overwhelming vast majority of human beings and their Knowing Glances love, nay, NEED?
Dear jeebus & lardy & ala carte yes! But, not in that “Close To The Edge” Yes way… See prog comes in many shapes and sizes, from pop based, to rock, to jazz, classical, and even metal. For my money, I’m calling this one from the jazzy-prog world. It’s a little dark, a bit medieval (only enhancing the progginess) at times, a bit chaotic in a slower way, having that classic “everyone’s doing their own thing yet somehow it all stays together in one song” that good prog does so well, flowing from catchy melodies to new moments, seemingly disjointed, and back again.
My only complaint, I guess, is I wish Veronica was mixed just a liiiiittle bit down, she seems to overtake at times, masking what’s going on behind her a little too much, because when you listen just a little harder, there’s alot going back there, and I really want to hear it! During the instrumental points, your mind just flutters along with everything, like a chaotic beautiful dream.
Thank you Flotilla for the free album. Really nice… Can’t wait to see what you guys do next! Here’s the first few songs to give you a good idea of the album. Enjoy!
Hold on to the edge of the boat
We’ll go on to three four broke
shadows are longer…
A Thousand Jacobs
Ghost In a Landscape
Charlie, I’m Through
Court and Spark
Meet Me Outside
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