Paisley Shirt Records

FLOWERTOWN - Tourist Language LP

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Listening to the latest Flowertown collection you enter a new portal into their world. A blend of old-world romance and modern-day ephemera swirls together, beckoning you in. The music is romantic as a result of its intimate style, stripped back to only its essential components, both in terms of sound and imagery.

The songs have a prismatic quality, with instruments echoing out, like refracted light shining on familiar scenes and bathing them in magic. The title track ‘Tourist Language’ is an especially good example, it speaks of “silent whispers, or some kind of words” and “the space in between what I see and what you mean”, there’s a lack of certainty that opens up a wide world of imagery and imagination.

Both Karina and Mike have a strong musical signature which is marked indelibly through their separate projects, Cindy and Tony Jay. The two are merged in Flowertown to create a unique vision. The songs' narratives often involve two voices speaking from one perspective, taking turns to tell the story and creating a sense of secret community; sometimes it feels like a shared monologue, and other times a close conversation.

There is space around the music on Tourist Language that elevates small details and allows strong emotions to come through, like in ‘Count to Nine’ when Karina says, “the night I pushed my luck you were there, you found my coat, you fixed my hair”, the narrative is simple and yet full of suggestion and tenderness. Flowertown present a duality, the music is both subtle and ornate, with songs that feel like memories, hazy but laced with specificities.

Tourist Language is a collection that climbs higher up into the Flowertown landscape. Infinitely listenable beautifully crafted tunes, and cinematic stories of mysterious ceremonies and half glimpsed exchanges.

- Natasha Bikkul