Sherwood’s Florist Releases Debut Album Alive at Night (Review)
Sherwood’s Florist, a new band on the South Carolina scene, debuted a full-length album, Alive At Night, at the end of last month. The project melds influences of funk, jam rock, psych pop and lofi retrowave, resulting in an innovative amalgamation of sounds that succeeds in being both interesting and enjoyable.
“Window Carving” is the first in the 9-song collection, and it sets the listener up for the kind of glittery lofi, retro-inspired synth sounds we’ll hear throughout the album. It also shows Sherwood Florist’s ability to lay down a funky groove.
The following track, “Room to Breathe,” gives us some “sha la la” vocals that at times call to mind the stylings of Keon Masters in their lighthearted confidence.
Slowing things down is “Impressions, Pt. II,” an wordless exploration of instrumentation and organic sound. Fuzzy wind and wave noises float into the soundscape, followed by what sounds like a xylophone and some sort of flute.
The title track, “Alive at Night,” is cheeky, with an upbeat drum riff and more focused vocals, but stays true to the band’s experimental focus.
Picking up the groove once again is “Which Way,” a bass-driven song describing the confusion that comes along with decision-making. The quick, frenetic vocals sound far away.
Another funk-heavy track is “2 Eezily.” This time, the keys lead the jam, and the chorus is layered with vocal echoes.
The album winds its way to a close with three distinctive tracks, the first of which, “Exploding Head Syndrome,” presents one of the most experimental sounds, focused on a mysterious guitar riff until the vocals usher in a shift to another mood entirely, this kind of back-and-forth playing out throughout the track.
“Like Rain,” is, despite its name, an upbeat song, guitar and keys matching energy bar for bar. It also shows the most drawn-out, sing-songy vocals, with lines like “Let this feeling wash over me.”
Alive at Night ends with “Chasing,” a track grounded in simple guitar, retro synths, and deep bass. The vocals again sound far away, almost as if the voice is coming from the bottom of a well, and the song closes with a heavy dose of reverb and static.
Sherwood’s Florist recorded everything on the album onto tape, completely analog, with all the instruments played through in one take. The process, according to the artist, served as “a way to kind of time travel.”
The album plays with elements from different musical backgrounds that aren’t often explored in tandem, creating an idiosyncratic sound that sets Sherwood’s Florist apart from other acts in South Carolina.
Sometimes you can’t make out the lyrics, and there’s plenty of disorienting fuzz, but it’s refreshing to hear from an artist who is doing their own thing, and who revels in finding beauty in imperfection.
Stream Alive at Night by Sherwood’s Florist below.