One of the best feelings in the world for music lovers is finding an act or musician that has crafted such a strong, signature sound that it causes instant love at first play. Even if the sound has been done before – which it most likely has – if a musician offers even the slightest twist to that sound, it can cause an instantaneous “click”. Once it does click, the constant desire for more releases starts to become louder, which makes the ever so eventual album or EP announcement all the sweeter. This is where I found myself with indie pop / alternative synth act flor when I had stumbled upon their debut EP Sounds in 2015. The flair that they added to the core indie pop sound that made up their EP instantly sunk its teeth into me and from them on, I was hooked, waiting for the inevitable debut album. With the impeding release of their recently announced debut come out. you’re hiding now upon fans everywhere, the only thing to really say is that it was absolutely worth the wait.
Opening up the record is lead single “Guarded”, which is a budding track that oozes danceability with its inherently catchy, syncopated instrumentation and fluttering synths littered throughout. As the track hits the chorus, the underlying sound explodes and listeners will find themselves signing along unbeknownst to themselves. This detailed composition of differing elements that fall both in and outside of the indie pop realm are what encompasses the very essence of what flor contrive; a sound that weaves into people’s eardrums and takes hold, lingering on far after the album is over. Following up the incredibly catchy opener is “warm blood”, which sees the band swap exploding soundscapes and overall danceability for soaring melodies and a haunting atmosphere. While not polar opposites, this one-two punch with the albums first two tracks set expectations admirably for not only what to expect throughout the rest of come out. you’re hiding, but also put flor’s encompassing sound on full display.
The album continues with a sort of duology in songs over the next two tracks in what they present from a lyrical, thematic and musical standpoint. “heart” has a deep, brooding opener that relies on abrasive horns and pounding drums before soothing, explosive melodies enter the fray while “where do you go” is an uplifting track that fits the criteria for summer anthem with its dance-y vibes and huge chorus. It’s at the halfway point that listeners are shifted to a more subdued flor sound that spans a very wide spectrum. Take for example, “back again”, which opts for a softer, subtler instrumental backing as vocals take centerstage. Following that up is “hold on” which is a beautifully composed track, yet it leaves a feeling of self-restraint, making you wonder if it was placed at the beginning of the record, would it have the louder soundscapes behind it. Throughout the remaining four tracks, this simpler approach in sound leads the charge, but that doesn’t mean that the music presented is worse off; in fact, it’s quite the opposite as tracks like “restless soul” and “overbehind” deliver a powerful, bouncy bassline that causes your head to uncontrollably bob along. On the other end, “unsaid” and “spoiled” rely more heavily on glistening synths and electronics while “spoiled” takes a turn towards the dark pop realm.
One of the trickiest aspects of creating an album is to keep it fresh and varied while maintaining a strong level of continuity throughout to retain a level of familiarity. On come out. you’re hiding. each track has a feeling of being a long-time friend that has changed over the course of a few months of distance, making the songs that flor has crafted on their debut have a uniqueness to them that feels like more than a fresh coat of paint. Additionally, the tracks that they’ve previously put out as other releases fit perfectly with the newly composed ones, maintaining a desired level of cohesiveness and continuity that artists strive for in this day and age of music. It’s this level of attention to detail and the ability to create a unique, fleshed out sound that captivates from beginning to end that makes this a must hear debut and will push flor to much bigger things.