Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Album Review: The Rising Sun by The House Of Flowers (by Emma Prew)

Chances are you may not have heard of The House Of Flowers. I hadn’t until I saw London-based trio The Exhausts post about it on Facebook. The House Of Flowers is a new project from Tommy Simpson, of The Exhausts, with Jake Popyura (Doe, The Exhausts) on drums and Rich Mandell (Happy Accidents) on bass, keys, organ and synth. The Rising Sun EP, released earlier this month, is the first full band music that Tommy has put out in four years and the moment I hit play on the first track I knew I was going to enjoy this.

The first of three tracks on The Rising Sun is titled Dirty Air. With acoustic guitar backed by a firm drumbeat and subtle bassline, the song has a reasonably upbeat feel to it but, of course, the lyrics tell a different story. Dirty Air is about feeling like you don’t want to go outside and instead feeling safe and comfortable in your own space. I don’t know about you but I can certainly relate. ‘And I’m comfortable stuck in this rut, With every window painted shut, And every door locked tight, I’m staying in tonight.’ The Dead Of Night is up next and here The House Of Flowers take us on quite a journey. There’s a great sense of storytelling throughout as Tommy sings of running away from his fears and anxieties but having them catch up to him eventually. As with Dirty Air, the melody and pace is fairly upbeat but the lyrics are pretty dark – ‘But I can’t sleep without picturing my death, And wondering how long I’ve got left, I can’t sleep without picturing my death, And wondering how long I’ve got left’ It’s great to hear the the inclusion of the keys (or synth or organ or all of the above, I’m not sure) here. The third song is Last Night’s Clothes. Beginning with gentle and sombre-sounding acoustic guitar, I was wondering if this was going to be an entirely acoustic song. After the first verse however, the full band comes in for the chorus – ‘And it’s alright as long as no one knows, That I’m still wearing last night’s clothes.’ I imagine it could be a rousing singalong at a live show but for now I’m just happy to sing along myself. It’s really great.

There’s a distinct theme of dealing with anxiety, and mental health problems in general, throughout the EP and the honesty within the songs is wonderful and comforting to hear. The Rising Sun is a great little EP. Check it out!

You can stream and download The Rising Sun on Bandcamp and like The House Of Flowers on Facebook.

This review was written by Emma Prew.

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