On their debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do, London trio Flowers, consisting of singer Rachel Kenedy, guitarist Sam Ayres, and drummer Jordan Hockley, syntheize the kinetic energy and raw vulnerability of their live shows into fourteen deceptively simple pop songs. Exploring the gamut of emotions that accompany coming of age, Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do‘s tracks carry listeners from heartbreak to carefree happiness and everything in between. Today, the band has announced the September 9th US release date via Brooklyn based Kanine Records as well as the September 8th UK release date on Fortuna Pop.
Flowers was brought together by Sam’s Gumtree (the UK’s version of Craigslist) advert: “In search of a singer to make music like Madonna through a broken tape machine.” He went through many auditions before finding Rachel. But shortly after meeting Rachel, Sam reenlisted college mate Jordan for drums, and the three moved into together. They practiced daily in their living room, recording through the night, barely sleeping with the excitement of it all and soon amassed a huge collection of over a hundred demos. Posting some of the results of their feverish recording online quickly resulted in a European tour with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart with more shows following, including support for Young Marble Giants in London and a trip to NYC for 2013’s Popfest. Flowers’ live performances draw a line between the joyous fuzzpop of The Pains and the minimalist brilliance of Young Marble Giants.
Flowers needed a producer to help them capture the emotion of their live show. The search led them to the door of Bernard Butler whose track record, love of the Cocteau Twins and the Gibson ES-355 guitar that Sam also plays marked him as the perfect choice. And so Flowers’ very first foray into a proper recording studio was a Butler’s 355 Studio – a daunting prospect for a young band, softened by Butler’s sensitive production and access to his collection of beautiful analogue synths and Vox organ.
Across these fourteen songs, as Rachel says, “We were young writing this album (we still are I think!), so all the songs reflect the emotions of being young, covering the extremes of: loneliness, happiness, rejection, love, torment, excitement.” For every song about the carefree, halcyon days of youth (“Young”, “Forget The Fall”), there is another about the pain of relationships (“Drag Me Down”, “Lonely”). The album closes with a run of three exquisite numbers: “Be With You,” “a song of reassurance, about knowing that everything will get better somehow, because it can’t not;” “Plastic Jane,” “about someone who wears a facade with nothing underneath”(lyric: “Your plastic pain / just like Novocaine”); and the aforementioned live show closer “Stuck.”
“Our songs tend to be quite short – if there’s something that doesn’t need to be there, we take it out. Hoping for just the best bits,” explains Rachel. On influences, “We love all kinds of things, Ramones, Madonna, The Misfits, Iggy & The Stooges, Joy Division, all sorts! The album doesn’t sound too much like any of those, but the songs are short and simple pop songs, and all those artists we love write songs like that.”
Do What You Want Do, It’s What You Should Do
Out September 8th on Fortuna Pop/September 9th on Kanine
Forget the Fall
Drag Me Down
Worn Out Shoes
If I Tell You
I Love You
All Over Again
Be With You