Posts Tagged ‘Lavender Flu’

Lavender Flu

The second album that makes it way into the ether from Lavender Flu this year is actually a step back in time. Noted as a bit of a ‘lost’ second album, the tracks were recorded just after Heavy Air and they retain a bit of the feeling of that period in the Flu’s lifespan. Unlike the more single-track-oriented offering from earlier this year, there’s a film lacquered over the top of Tomorrow Cleaners adhering one track to another and making it hard to parse it apart. The approach gives the album a feeling of disorienting vignettes in a larger piece. One minute Chris Gunn is rolling into a broken blues fuzz, the next he’s lost in the tape hiss hedgemaze and squirreling away pop pieces for the future. The pieces flip through channels in broken television splatter, letting some songs slip away before they resolve and others push through with dialed-in clarity.

Noise plays a larger part here, again aligning this with Heavy Air’s hounded, sprawling structure, but the further the listener backs away the more this begins to resemble a psychedelic collage that’s less haphazard and more big picture than it might let on if just experienced piecemeal. There are patterns between the punishment of amps and the gelatinous vocals. The pop gems might feel like the most potent but sometimes its the most anxious parts of Gunn’s vision that grab hold — the inter-dimensional angst of “Boca Ciega,” the faded sheen of “Infrathin,” or the somber soul of “Winter Mauls.” I’d have to say that given the two, Barbarian Dust is a more complete picture of Lavender Flu in 2020, but Tomorrow’s Cleaners is more than just a curio of the past, it’s a connective tissue that needed to be acknowledged and it colors in some nice lines in the Flu’s growth.



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Lavender Flu – “Rake The Face”

One Lavender Flu LP has already hit the shelves this year but it seems there’s another on the way from the Chris Gunn lead group. This time the fidelity’s crumbling like an accurate reflection of society in 2020, but the gutpunch grit of The Flu remains. Gunn’s songwriting has always straddled psych and the noisier end of the indie spectrum and this LP seems bound to let the lines blur even further. Lead single “Rake The Face” churns a bright buzz within its tape hiss hovel of sound. Pushing against the walls of redline in all direction the song has a clammy sweat groove that’s more cold turkey desperation than turbulent dance. There was some tenderness in the last Lav Flu, but this one seems to be packed with panic, pain, and a wash of noise. Tomorrow Cleaners lands in late October from MEDS.



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Best of 2020 (so far)

2020’s been a hell of a year, and one that doesn’t feel like definitive statements do it justice. Still, no matter how many seismic changes have occurred during the year, the music has been a source of solace and inspiration. The fact that so many artists have had their livelihoods upended gives it a slightly sour note, especially for some that may have been working years to let these statements out into the world. Keep hitting the Bandcamp revenue shares to support artists and labels directly. If you need some suggestions there’s quite a few below. Keep in mind that ‘best’ is by no means definitive, but these are some of my favorites. We all know that Run The Jewels hits hard, but someone else is gonna tell you about it better than I ever could. Still lots to look forward to musically in the second half, but the first part of the year has been a bounty to be sure.

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Lavender Flu – Follow The Flowers

One of this year’s sorely overlooked gems was the sophomore LP from Lavender Flu. The band tightened up their sound and delivered an album of excellently psych splattered garage pop. If perhaps this one got a way from you, then now’s the time to go back and right some wrongs. The band’s sparkling, soaring song “Follow The Flower” has been adorned with a suitably psychedelic video that pulses with light and color. Check in with the visual treat and then head over to In The Red for the full experience.

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The Lavender Flu

Chris Gunn shared time in two undeniably great, though never celebrated enough bands, The Hunches and Hospitals. His new endeavor, Lavender Flu isn’t as noisy as the latter or as shambledown cathartic as the former, but he and the band are jumping in both feet first with widescope ambitions on Heavy Air. The double LP debut swims through psychedelic bogs that are shaggy and caked with fallout fuzz in places and burst out with bold pop statements in the next instant. Stitched together with a ragged twine of thought, the album could prove exhausting to the uninitiated, but those who’ve found room for Gunn’s brand of veiled pop bombast will find Easter Eggs aplenty throughout this release. Out of the clamor and clash rise some beautiful moments of folk pop like “Those That Bend” or “My Time,” both cuts that wouldn’t seem out of place cozying up to some Elephant 6 disciples. Hell, the whole record would fit in with the Collective’s vibe of sun-streaked psych mixed with “Green Typewriters” style experimentation and for the cadre of listeners out there looking for that heady stew, look no further, Lavender Flu’s world is a dense rabbit hole worth exploring and re-exploring. Plenty of psychic fallout to tide you ’til Springtime.

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