Don’t Sleep On The Ballet’s ‘I Blame Society’

I bought my first actual CD in forever at NYC Popfest at The Bell House on Saturday night, from a band I didn’t even see, because I loved (but lost) the previous album (which isn’t even on iTunes? terrible), and to all appearances, many of the amazing songs Flowers played are yet unreleased, and The Bats killed, but I have everything they’ve ever done already. Great call, me: I Blame Society by The Ballet, officially out on June 10, is a perfect summer pop record.

Ages ago—or in 2009, same difference—Pitchfork compared the first single from Bear Life, “Chinatown,” to one of the more upbeat numbers in The Magnetic Fields repertoire. That ear for melody and talent for totally assured, pitch-perfect vocals certainly holds across both albums, and titles like “Cruel Path” and “Difficult Situations” should alert you to the winningly dry and direct lyrics.

The standout, however, is a hopelessly blunt question: “Is Anybody Out There?” Dropping in where chillwave and shoegaze merge for a pink swell of cascading guitar and synth pads, the track just so happens to boast a superbly fitted music video—I think that’s where I’m getting the “pink” description from. Bear Life may be a chore to track down, but unlike its predecessor, I Blame Society is on Spotify, so you no longer have any excuse not to become as obsessed with The Ballet as I am.

 

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We Need to Talk About Flowers

Not the plants, though a few have been poking up through the ground at the park around the corner and I am thrilled. We’re talking here about Flowers the band, a U.K. group that has nailed down everything you want in punchy, short, sugar-dusted pop songs.

Almost never crossing the two-minute mark, Flowers deliver delightfully fuzzy nuggets of melodic noise. A couple of far-too-short demos, known simply as “demo” and “demo 2,” showcase musicians brave enough to try to sound like early My Bloody Valentine, where shoegaze and punk were not wholly separate aesthetics.

Did we mention that you can name your price when you download both releases? Just be prepared to leave this stuff on repeat until the neighbors come over and ask to join the party. We’d be remiss, also, not to note that Flowers will be playing NYC Popfest with The Ballet, The Proctors, and Ringo Deathstarr on June 1. See you then!

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