Headland - True Flowers From This Painted World

by jim harris Rating:7 Release Date:2017-07-28

True Flowers From This Painted World from Headland is a lo-fi gem of an album, one that began as a soundscape for a video by award-winning filmmaker Stephen Jones. While much of the lo-fi, new age instrumentals might suffer without the video footage, it still is a fine album of well-executed, quaint, lo-fi songs and half-songs.

The band put together in Headland is a rich composite of visual artists and musical virtuosos, and each track is stridently controlled, especially the instrumentals such as “Beneath the Eyes,” “Building Dwelling,” and the moody, evocative  ‘Landfall Night.”

If True Flowers From This Painted World suffers from anything it’s the abruptness of the thematic changes, as when they slip in a country-tinged song here and there like “I Couldn’t Say It to Your Face” or “Don’t Get too Cozy.”  The transition from moody seascape instrumentals to short little country songs that calls to mind The Drive-By Truckers spun way down (“Remain On Stop”), is sometimes a bit disquieting.  But, after a few listens it all starts growing on you, and while they don’t sound like Neil Young or Pink Floyd as their press release claims, True Flowers From This Painted World is remarkably listenable even without the visuals. In fact, I’m always surprised when lo-fi bands claim in their press releases that they sound like Pink Floyd because they play slow, moody, stuff.  I guess they are referring to Floyd’s underappreciated 1972 Obscured By Clouds, which is indeed a brilliant album of moody soundtrack songs.

I like Headland’s True Flowers From This Painted World, and think it’s an extremely well presented lo-fi album for fans of atmospheric music.  It would be nice to see them get a little more ambitious with the country songs, and, what the fuck, put out a whole album of that sound. But, I’m just a smart-ass critic, what would I know? Regardless, Headland is well worth it if you can invest a few listens to get into it.

 

Overall Rating (1)

4.5 out of 5 stars