Royal Holland’s “Flamingo” shows the importance of the build. These are songs of a master craftsman. By carefully letting his songs build up into boiling cauldrons full of all the elements that began so quietly, he is able to show the true power of the gradual progression towards those glorious finishes.
“The Grave” introduces the album with a taut bass line and stripped down percussion. Royal Holland’s voice serves as the heart and soul of the piece keeping it firmly grounded in reality at least for the first half of the song. For its final moments the distortion takes over buzzing with great urgency. On “Flamingo” the title track Royal Hollands opts for dreamy flourishes, the organ’s psychedelic haze, the efficiency of the piano, the ramshackle rhythms, these come together to create the EP’s highlight. With a messy mixture of sounds comes the casual sound of “Polaroid Blues”. Bringing things to a satisfying close is the Wilco-tinged earnestness of “These Mundane Lives”. A full sound helps the EP sail off on the right note. Emphasis on the repetitive nature of life, of the beauty to be found in the cyclical helps to give it a wonderful, oddly peaceful aspect. Taking an opposite approach to the previous tracks, he builds up and breaks down the track, ending off with a near whisper.
With “Flamingo” Royal Holland shows that slow and steady wins the race. Spending his time deliberating over every second of every track he is able to make them truly sparkle while still retaining their charming raw grit.
Posted by Beach Sloth