Melbourne solo artist James Wallace aka Coloured Clocks is back with his sixth album The Floral Emblem, recorded and produced in his house to deliver a buoyant brand of psychedelic dream pop.
The Floral Emblem is one big vacuum cleaner of a record. I say that because it really sucks you in, from Puma‘s first note of intoxicating synth. It has the texture of an airy chocolate mousse, with lyrics that shimmer around in your head.
James picks up the pace on track two, enticing you to join him for a boogie with I Wanna Dance With You. I always find that if a track has an interesting rhythm, I’ll basically never get tired of it. And even though the electronic drums are pretty simple on this track, in sections, the beat lurches with a hop and skip that you could pull off a mean Irish jig to.
The Floral Emblem has hints of similarities with POND, I Know Leopard and even The Beatles which provides a framework of familiarity to listeners, giving James the opportunity to play around with more experimental melodies, sounds and chord progressions.
It’s those touches of experimentation that really keeps you on your toes – from some abrupt, yet very fun tempo changes on the two Dream Sequence tracks, to using autotune to add a new dimension to All Friends.
Gone Now would roll out the end credits of a movie beautifully, and as you would expect, it ends the album on a perfect note. Ever so briefly at the beginning of the track, I’m reminded of the bagpipes in ABBA’s Arrival which is one of the the greatest album finishers of all time (despite not actually being at the end of the album).
There’s a few tracks embedded into the review but I would highly recommend checking out the whole record on bandcamp or whichever streaming platform you fancy.