Atlanta, Georgia band floral print were formed after a fortuitous meeting via Facebook. Paul DeMerritt (drums) and Nathan Springer (guitar/vocals) formed the band in 2014, the partnership blossoming into an exploration of lively emo-tinged indie rock, traversing the outer edges of the pop spectrum. The band released their debut EP, woo, back in 2015, and have spent the time since touring and tightening their sonic bonds. Then, last summer, floral print finally made the leap and began recording their debut full-length, mirror stages, an album which is finally loose in the world, on the ever-reliable Tiny Engines.
mirror stages is clearly the work of a band that have grown and developed together, displaying more nuance and tact than the first floral print EP. The chaotic structures and collaborative experimentation are still front and centre, but they feel finely honed and instinctive. This is apparent from the very beginning, the insistent driving drum beat of ‘sweepstakes life’ at odds with the stark and soft outro.
Perhaps the best illustration of the album as a whole, ‘Kevin’ builds from wiry guitar, becoming a schizoid indie rock song, part buoyant garage pop, part sombre emotion. The lyrics are equally predictable, switching from ruminations on mortality to altogether lighter thoughts.
“is my cat really my friend?
she chomps my arm
steeping dark teas,
she sits with me on the porch”
There are knotty guitar lines and cathartic tempo changes aplenty on ‘morning with ophelia’, another shifting, complex pop song, before closer ‘broad street visitors center’ jerks into life. Here Springer’s vocals are gentler and more earnest, delivering lyrics about negative feelings and missing the person who makes them disappear.
With mirror stages, floral print have delivered a record that is quite unlike any other you’ll hear this year. It’s a whirlwind of a journey, like rattling along a maze of tunnels, sometimes slowly and sometimes at breakneck speed. But, despite their fondness for unpredictability, they manage to keep a hold of the reins, marshalling the chaos into something both infectious and meaningful.