One can’t help but smile at the grinning cat adorning the cover of Floyd, Darling’s appropriately titled The Orange Cat Album. The photo looks candid and surprisingly homemade – much like the music presented within the album. Though some moments are a bit repetitive, one could make the case that they found something that worked and really spent more time enhancing and expanding on that theme, rather than jam too many different ideas into just a few songs.
With its coffee shop vibe, “Disney Kind (F is for F*** You)” has a really interesting drumbeat supported by equally interesting lyrics. “Skinny Jeans” features a catchy acoustic guitar sound and had deeper lyrics than expected. The song titles of these two songs in particular add a touch of humor to the album, making it seem even more homegrown than before.
The punchy guitar chords in “A Lake” dance around with twinkling high notes. The midrange, meandering vocals remind me of Brian Aubert from Silversun Pickups with the originality of tone.
A few of the songs made very good use of tempo changes to draw out the mood. For example, though the guitar chords chug along in “Dumb,” the chorus has an interesting variation that adds a nice dynamic to the song. Similarly structured, “Circus” sounds almost like a commercial jingle, but really encompasses the excitement you would expect if you were actually at a circus. The moments where the fast-paced drums slow down really capture the mirror side of the elevated mood, providing a surprisingly intense interpretation of the music.
“These days” takes on a bit of a country persona, incorporating a soulful harmonica and wistful singing. While maintaining the overall feel of the songs preceding it, it’s a very interesting change in direction, and is perfectly timed and placed.
The album ends solidly, if a bit wistfully, with the revisited twinkling notes in “News.”
Throughout the album, I was afforded a sense of fantasy that clashed with the realistic lyrics and down to earth guitar strums, which kept things interesting. I would love to hear the two-piece’s next effort, especially if they made more daring songs such as “These days” to really take the album off the beaten path.
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