Flowers and Sea Creatures: Head First Then Heart EP
Montreal-based outfit Flowers and Sea Creatures (singer-lyricist Graham Baxter and musician-producer Kosta Megalos) works a good amount of diversity into this fourteen-minute follow-up to 2011's self-titled debut album, with the EP featuring one new song plus remixes by Ytre Rymden Dansskola (Prins Thomas associates and Nordic duo Marius Våreid and Jarle Bråthen) and Detroit-based producer-DJ Lephtee, who issued his own Buzzin' Fly EP, So Far Back, in 2006.First up is the EP's title track, a melancholy slice of woozy electronic balladry with reverberant vocals that ooze a bit of plaintive Thom Yorke flavour. Beatless, it's not exactly what one might expect from the opening cut on a Buzzin' Fly release, but it's affecting nonetheless and serves as excellent raw material for the others to work with. Acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, and low-pitched synthesizers unite in the service of four minutes of melodramatic electronic pop before Ytre Rymden Dansskola offers its own take on the song. The skies open immediately when synthesizer radiance and a pulsating groove fills the sky with a blissed-out brand of Nordic disco that lifts the downcast spirit of Flowers and Sea Creatures' original. Nothing against the latter, but this bouncy overhaul is the one I'll head to first, especially when the track deepens into a luscious summer-styled jam. Lephtee's “Electronique” remix chills the pace once more for a dreamy exercise in vocal-electronic moodscaping that achieves a perfect balance between Flowers and Sea Creatures' winsome emotionalism and electronic-ambient scene-painting. The entrancing backdrop Lephtee creates for the Montreal duo suggests that a full-length collaboration between both parties would be worth considering, given how much the version builds on their individual strengths.