Unlike the slow build of singles and videos that lead up to the band’s 2013 debut, Midnight at the Wheel Club, London’s Dead Flowers hinted at a new album back in March 2015 with a video trailer to only then go quiet. With little fanfare, the band announced the release of Minor & Grand, their sophomore LP, on a Saturday in September via social media.
One must not rush to judgement when it comes to Dead Flowers. Love or loathe singer Ian Williams’ baritone delivery, his words must be given time to steep. With the memories of Coney Island and Montreal that informed Midnight at the Wheel Club still fresh, those Fireball-soaked tales of remembrance have become nocturnes of that sojourn’s aftermath on Minor & Grand.
While “Anna,” “Flames” and the chilling piano dirge “Paris” are narrative descendants of Wheel Club, songs such as the mid-tempo “Slow” and wishful closer “Adirondack” showcase the now-sextet’s musical prowess, the former likely serving as the band’s new calling card. A marked departure, the sonic squall of “Wheels Come Off” bears no lineage to the band’s former output while retaining Williams’ subtle humor: “You laughed when I lost my legs / But I didn’t need those legs / They were only my sea legs / This is the only way to live”.
Pensive and cathartic, Minor & Grand is another beautiful fireside chat with an old friend. More a band effort than Midnight at the Wheel Club, Dead Flowers continue moving forward in their musical adventures while we await further tales from the wandering soul of Ian Williams.
Watch the video for “Wheels Come Off” and stream/purchase Minor & Grand below.