Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Meet the post-punk duo 'White Flowers'

The lived experience of the younger generation seems to be full of uncertainty and darkness in today’s world, especially during the unprecedented times ahead of us – to help you along the way, meet Katie Drew and Joey Cobb. The Preston-duo are channelling their melancholic emotions into gripping soundscapes, which explore issues of identity, dissociation and feelings of powerlessness. Throughout their discography, the combination of gothic and post-punk sounds notably resemble some of the most well known and iconic bands, such as Slowdive and Joy Division. 

Night Drive 

The pairs debut single Night Drive unravels the emotional torment that so many of us face every day. On the surface of the track, the oscillation between Cobb’s standard strumming and warbling serves to create a melancholic atmosphere – however, in terms of latency, the duo have intentionally employed fragmented sounds to reflect the lonely lives that we all lead. Night Drive stimulates the sensation of feeling emotionally adrift; it seems that in a world of fragmentation, the connection between individuals is no longer a touchable experience. Drew and Cobb suggest that by living in a fragmented world we allow anxiety, frustration and powerlessness to pervade our lives. Although Night Drive seems tumultuous and intense at first, Drew’s ethereal vocals, against her frequent groans; presents the idea that - like flowers, will wilt and fall, but only to allow us to root, rise and bloom. 

Within A Dream (my favourite!)

Drew and Cobb recorded the single, Within a Dream, alongside Ali Chant – the renowned music producer who has worked alongside PJ Harvey, Gruff Rhys and Soccer Mummy. The duo moved back and forth between recording the single at home and the studio, as although they wanted to create a post-punk atmosphere, they prioritised the preservation of their lo-fi sound. Within A Dream explores the reality of our brutal, unfeeling world, by drawing upon themes of dissociation and identity. “Nothing is right, nothing is wrong” epitomises the conflicting nature of the emotions experienced by people suffering from mental illnesses. The haunting lyrics resonate with people who feel as though they are alienated from their own experiences of life, perhaps due to dissociation or anxiety. The duo’s sound bears a distinct resemblance to Joy Division, who are famous for combining gothic aesthetics, echoing drums, and synth sounds to evoke notions of chaos and confusion. 

You Caught Me

Their most recent single, You Caught Me, may be best described as a patchwork of eerie melodies, brooding soundscapes and haunting vocals. Throughout the track, Cobb’s guitar chords grow stronger, whilst Drew’s vocals come in and out of focus – creating a weird haze that bleaches out the lyrics, “you caught me”. Although many bands have failed to channel the traditional shoegaze sound, Drew has definitely mastered vocal opaqueness, which lulls all of her listeners into a melancholic daze – whilst Cobb has acquired the ability to consume Drew’s delicate voice with his guitar chords. The track seems to have allowed the duo to weave their idiosyncrasies together, creating an unorthodox approach towards their chord structure, lyrics and vocals – You Caught Me is sonically brilliant. 

It is certain that the duo’s music will leave a lasting impression on any listener. Their music is complex, conflicted and evocative – despite their chosen name, White Flowers, which alludes towards notions of simplicity and composure. I can promise that you will be left at the edge of your sonic seat, whilst the pair unwittingly transform complex emotions that you once thought were untouchable into deeply tangible experiences. 

If you like White Flowers, then you might also fall in love with Lush, Dream English Kid, DIIV and the Cocteau Twins. 

Aimee Dodd


Image: White Flower Facebook Page


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