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Golden Bloom - Fan The Flames

Golden Bloom, Fan The Flames

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

GOLDEN Bloom is basically the work of multi-instrumentalist and frontman Shawn Fogel. For his latest album, Fan The Flames, he plays all the instruments, from piano, bass guitar and tenor sax to keyboards, harmonica and drums. He sings too… and the results are really good.

Fogel says of the album: “Most of the songs I’ve written in the past stemmed from personal relationships and existed very much in my head. These new songs are different – they come from a frustrated optimism, or an optimistic frustration.

“They’re less about what’s going on in my head and more about what’s going on in our country and our planet.”

Anyone expecting pretentious observations on the state of things had best think again, however. The songs on Fan The Flames are great, embracing the optimism and the frustration that went into writing them.

There are moments that can be described as Dylan-esque, such as the mouth organ-laden Theme For An Adventure At Sea, or Fountains of Wayne and Ben Folds-like, as in album opener EHM.

EHM, in particular, offers the strongest possible start to the album, kicking off with a hammond organ intro before exploding to life with some fine electric guitar riffs. The “hey hey hey” chanting underlines the strong melodic structure. It’s a headrush of an opening.

Doomsday Devices is another cracker that displays an inspiring vitality and some strong indie rock hooks, while title track Fan The Flames slows the tempo to pleasing effect and includes a pop-folk element.

Fogel’s ability to inject genuine emotion into his songs is evident on the slow-burner She Leaves Me Poetry, which is both Lennon-esque and a genuinely brilliant love song.

But there’s barely a bad track on the LP, with Dead Petals and If You Believe also registering strongly – the latter a dizzying whirlwind of brass, glockenspiel and guitar that adds up to a breezy gem.

You might have to work hard to track down Fan The Flames in the UK, but those that find it will be rewarded with an album of rich depth and timeless quality. Seek it out.

Download picks: EHM, Doomsday Devices, She Leaves Me Poetry, If You Believe, Theme For An Adventure At Sea

Track listing:

  1. E.H.M.
  2. Doomsday Devices
  3. Fan The Flames
  4. She Leaves Me Poetry
  5. The Fight At The End Of The Tunnel
  6. Dead Petals
  7. If You Believe
  8. The Mountainside Says
  9. Theme For An Adventure At Sea

  1. the cd will have distribution in the uk. just ask your local record store to order it from Carrot Top Distribution.

    janelle    Aug 17    #