Crooked Flower: Blooming – The Light Rail Sessions – Review
It’s time to get a little trippy. Yeah. Crooked Flower, a band out of Berkeley, has without doubt sucked in the vibe of the city. Their latest release, Blooming – The Light Rail Sessions, is a seven track musical experience with a full range of melodic roads.
Crooked Flower is fronted by Angie Dang, whose vocals offer a bit of Sheryl Crow and a little of Grace Potter, but with a stronger sultry effect. Dan Ingberman on lead guitar, brings back memories of smoky venues where the music was psychedelic and the atmosphere was laid back. Together with Daniel Erik on bass, Will Kyriazis on keys, and Patrick Shields on drums, the band takes an old style sound and gives it an enlivened feel.
The album begins and ends with Part 1 and Part 2 of “Came To Me In My Dreams.” Both tracks are instrumental heavy and as Part 1 begins, you get a strong sense of where this journey will lead. Dreamlike in its feel, Dang’s vocals begin about two minutes in and you get just enough of a taste to realize this could be an interesting ride.
“(Takin It) No More” has more of a pop feel. It’s fast paced, bass-driven with a full measure of fuzzy guitar. “Go Back, Go Back” is pure pop, light and fun. With each song, Dang’s vocals reveal a little more. Some singers rely totally on the strength of their voice, all powerhouse. Part of Dang’s strength lies in her ability to phrase a lyric. It gives her vocals interest and adds depth to each tune.
“Who You Are (I Want You)” is slow and methodical. In it the band drifts back into trippy territory while still keeping a haunting feel. “Losing Time (Don’t Like Mondays)” brings a little rock into the room, but there’s a hint of jazz in the background. In “Coming Back (To You),” the music floats around Dang’s voice like a bee and a flower. It’s a slow, spacey dance interrupted only by a frenetic guitar solo to get your attention.
The album ends as it began, with “Came To Me In My Dreams.” It’s very cosmic, very free-flowing with eight minutes of instruments before the spell is broken by the vocal storytelling of the song.
While there’s some risk in spacing lengthy instrumentals with true pop songs, Crooked Flower manages to balance the two. They are skilled at arranging the vocals and music around each other in a way where they meld together effortlessly.
Review by Kath Galasso @KatsTheory
Crooked Flower website
Crooked Flower facebook page
- Came To Me In My Dreams (Prelude and First Part)
- (Takin It) No More
- Go Back, Go Back
- Who Are You (I Want You)
- Losing Time (Don’t Like Mondays)
- Coming Back (To You)
- Came To Me In My Dreams (Second Part and Conclusion)