JC Flowers – Driving Excitement and the Pleasure of Ownership

Album Review by Will Fitzpatrick | 27 Apr 2016
Album title: Driving Excitement and the Pleasure of Ownership
Artist: JC Flowers
Label: ATP Recordings
Release date: 6 May

Londoners JC Flowers are certainly full of ideas. Baudrillard is loftily cited on the press release, suggesting a knowing angle to their classicist psych-pop, and they’re skilled alchemists when it comes to arrangement, whether suffocating or shimmering. The slow-burning Dust Planet comes layered with lush acoustics, gentle atmospherics and a thoroughly pretty approach to melody, while abstract electronic sketches punctuate the album, lending an ethereal otherness to their pastoral charms.

Where Driving Excitement… falls down isn’t so much the music or its execution, merely its staying power. As eminently lovely as it all feels, there's little of their artful understatement that actually lingers in the memory (a breezy cover of Bowie’s China Girl aside), much less that cuts directly through to the heart. You suspect there’ll be more and possibly even better to come. It’s just a shame their debut feels muddied, rather than fuelled, by glimpses of their potential.