The depth and breadth of the music scene here continues to floor me. Just when I think that I’ve got a good handle on many of the great bands, I am reminded that there is a metric shit-ton of music I have yet to hear. Today, One Hundred Flowers was that reminder.
Much like the Great Nostalgic, One Hundred Flowers offer some incredibly complex music while remaining catchy and accessible. There are often multiple melodic lines occurring at once on each of their songs, and that’s not counting the backing vocals, bass lines, and other harmonizing that might pop up from violins, trumpets, flutes or what-have-you. You’d think a band like that would sound like they were trying too hard, but the music comes across quite straightforwardly thanks to frontman Harrison Speck’s ear for a good hook. The perfect example of this comes on the lead track to last year’s Mechanical Bride, “Rat Trap,” which kicks off with a bouncy bassline and ends in a whoosh of interlocking vocal melodies.One Hundred Flowers - Rat Trap
Now, you may have read in some places that this album is too over-produced. To those lo-fi-loving nerdlingers, I say, Shut up! This album sounds smooth and professional, and the production brings out the hooks while also allowing for the layers in the arrangement to all have enough space. Others have called them “surf-folk” and, while I respect Republic of Austin too much to call them hurtful names like “nerdlinger,” I think this is a misleading descriptor of their sound. Instead, the band’s own bandcamp page lists them as “progressive indie pop,” which I think is the best way possible to describe the sound.