Head of Roses by Flock of DimesRelease date: April 2, 2021
Label: Sub Pop Records
Flock of Dimes might be an unknown quantity for many listeners. But fans of Wye Oak, will immediately recognize the name of Jenn Wasner, for whom Head of Roses is the second release under this name.
After listening to this album, a much wider audience just might embrace Wasner and her solo output guise. While on her first Flock of Dimes outing (If You See Me, Say Yes) Wasner took the whole process of creating the project, from writing and recording to producing, Head of Roses is a more collaborative affair, despite the pandemic quarantine restrictions. Still, she kept that group to a minimal level, including producer Nick Sandborn and Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver/Lambchop), and Adam Schatz (Landlady).
Yet, the album is full-on Wasner presenting her talents at her best, with her songwriting abilities shining to their full extent. What becomes immediately obvious is that musically Wasner doesn’t ‘respect’ modern music genres and tries to include as many disparate elements as possible and make them sound as they belong together in the first place. Essentially, she shows that you can add elements of electronic music to the singer/songwriter concept and make it sound truly natural.
To make this work, Wasner, with the help of Sandborn seems to have taken different musical strands and assembled them together to cover the main theme of the album – heartache, and healing. Sure, that theme has been covered over and over, but you really have to be creative enough, and have the right sense and feel to be able to make it work. And Wasner certainly does on Head of Roses. It is a very personal album that practically any listener can both comprehend and enjoy.