The first days of the new year I enjoyed myself with Photographs And Water, Flaming Top Hat’s debut album that came out on the penultimate day of last year. The 9 electronic indie rock songs here – more than 46 minutes in total – are raw, honest and intriguing. Flaming Top Hat is a solo project by Ellie Blake. Especially for a solo effort, the tracks are surprisingly diverse and rich, with quiet/loud dynamics, complex structures and long, personal lyrics. I asked Ellie how her music came about: “A lot of the songs come from the general stress of relocating yourself and not really knowing who you are and what to define yourself by, influenced by a big move I did across the summer from West Virginia where I lived for 6 years and had a semi-solid grasp on life, to Oregon, where I don’t know anyone and I’ve gotta sort myself out and figure out like what I need to do and meet new people and all that because there’s no status quo to rely on. This arguably most comes through on my personal favorites, The Bathroom Floor Song, a ten-minute-long possibly narrative song that’s vaguely about my life from September, when I arrived in Oregon, to late December when I finished the album. Most of the other songs serve as just little snapshots of emotion influenced by little moments in my life and the music I’ve been listening to, such as interpolation of The Beach Boys’ song I’m Waiting for the Day at the end of Rigor Mortis (Summer).” For me, Talk About Your Day stands out: it’s just as melancholic and slightly gloomy as the rest, but most relatable, and ending with some good vibrations.
Photographs And Water is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp