The Bergamot - Static Flowers (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
INDIANA duo The Bergamot are an appealing act whose Static Flowers LP is well worth checking out.
Comprised of Jillian Speece (on vocals) and Nathan Hoff (vocals, guitar, kick drum, keys), they specialise in breezy pop records that draw from the classics (everyone from The Beatles to Motown and Pink Floyd are cited as influences).
Static Flowers is their third release – following 2010’s EP Smile and 2011’s Haven – and while we’ve not had chance to chek those past offerings out, this is as good a starting point as any.
Almost immediately, Speece’s honey-dew vocals grab your attention, providing a lush focal point for the highly melodic album opener Linen. But throughout there’s a nice mix of tempos, styles and boy-girl refrains.
And while they may specialise in upbeat pop, they can also do ballads well (check out Home for emotional weight) or country (on the harmonica strewn ditty A Love Like You).
Instrumentally, they’re also a class act. The intricate guitar plucking on In Between, for instance, is terrific, providing a quietly thrilling backdrop to a bittersweet track about the trials of life.
Further tracks worth checking out include It’s Gunna Be Me, which finds them adopting a more gritty guitar sound (Speece is especially sultry here) to compliment the feistier lyrics, the rollicking The Southern Line (a country and western romp), the raw, stripped back Amy and the lively sparring match that is Wishing Well (“I know you are too damn good for me”).
And for added value, their album does come backed with a who’s who of instrumental talent to embellish the sound of the duo, including Tim Marks (studio bassist for Taylor Swift), Jimmy Johnson (studio bassist for Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones), Jimmy Clark (multi-instrumentalist of Loretta Lynn) and Tom Coyne (lead mastering engineer for Adele’s 21).
Trust us, this is a band that boasts impressive credentials wherever you look, most of which is fully realised with Static Flowers.
Download picks: Linen, In Between, It’s Gunna Be Me, Wishing Well, Amy, The Southern Line