LA-Based, French-American Psych Pop Duo Pearl & The Oysters to Release Flowerland LP on Chicago’s Feeltrip Records Sept 3rd
LA-Based, French-American Psych Pop Duo Pearl & The Oysters to Release Flowerland LP on Chicago’s Feeltrip Records Sept 3rd—
Stream and Download the Album In Full Below, First Single June 8, Album Announcement July 7 With Second Single
Genres: Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Indie Pop, Alternative, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Easy Listening
Recommended Tracks: 1, 3, 5, 8, 9
RIYL: Stereolab, YMO, Beach Boys, Marcos Valle, High Llamas, Todd Rundgren, ELO, Cardigans, Paul McCartney, Shuggie Otis, Sly Stone, Free Design, Broadcast, Dick Hyman, Margo Guryan, Roy Ayers, Blossom Dearie.Photo by Laura Moreau
Hi all – summer has arrived early with this record, the latest from French-American duo Pearl & The Oysters and their first as LA locals. We get sent a lot of records over here, and this one really jumped out to me, with echoes of Stereolab and Os Mutantes, or perhaps a “tropical Broadcast” as I think I said in my first email about it. It’s sprightly and fun and beautifully composed and arranged, the sounds are dialed in to perfection, and I for one am desperate for a little levity at the moment, especially as the weather warms and my vaccine kicks in fully. I mean, look at that artwork, it sounds like that, it’s great. A beach vacation in LP form.
ABOUT THE ALBUM Flowerland is the third album from French-American duo Pearl & The Oysters, available September 3rd, 2021 via Chicago’s Feeltrip Records.
With the band having recently relocated to LA, the album was intended as the final installment of Pearl & The Oysters’ ‘Florida trilogy,’ begun on their self-titled debut (2017) and continued on Canned Music (2018), a space age odyssey equal parts fawning over the Floweredland’s natural spectacles and mourning the peril that climate change has wrought on it all.
In comparison with previous releases, Flowerland reveals more of the inner workings of Davis and Polack’s minds, with the pair trading fantastical stories about zany characters for more personal narratives detailing worries of the everyday and universal variety. While the music remains primarily indebted to the escapist optimism of late-1960s soft pop, cloudier themes such as eco-anxiety, depression, and the stresses of finishing graduate school are all explored (somewhat cryptically) in the lyrics, although never in an overwhelming way. For Davis and Polack, Flowerland was meant as an attempt to channel crippling emotions into an uplifting listen, rather than a deliberately heavy experience.
P&TO’s take on Richard Tee and Stuff’s mellowest moments, the title track is in keeping with the band’s extended space opera metaphor seeing Florida become a foreign planet on which Davis and Polack crashed—rather than safely landed—, an unexpected but ultimately lucky detour. In the admittedly semi-autobiographical opener « Soft Science, » the band tries their hand at nouvelle vague romantic candor, in a duet staging a lovers’ trivial but tender argument, backed by samba-inspired percussion and phasing electric piano swirls. « Evening Sun, » one of P&TO’s more affected and pessimistic tracks to date, turns the ‘Endless Summer’ trope on its head by contemplating the concerning proposition hidden (in plain sight) behind what was once as a catchy slogan for tourism: when is the paradisiac promise of an eternal Summer actually becoming a dystopian menace? With its reverb-drenched flutes and whirling analog synthesizers, it is without doubt the album’s most cinematic cut.
Complete with a cover of Caetano Veloso’s tropicalia anthem « Baby » and the use of dusty drum machines conjuring Sly Stone or Shuggie Otis’s early-1970s output, Flowerland bears a heavier leaning toward Brazilian and R&B influences than the band’s earlier work. However, their signature take on space age music—bright melodies, retro-futuristic electronic accents and Davis’s rich vocals—remains intact.
« We really love the idea of combining vintage electronic sounds with nature, à la Hosono, and finding a bridge between those worlds, » says Davis. « This is present in all of our albums. »
Like with any P&TO release, friends and collaborators from across the globe left a sonic footprint on the songs of Flowerland. The album was mixed in the hands of Shags Chamberlain, responsible for mixing both Drugdealer albums and Mac Demarco’s latest pair of releases. Musicians contributing guest appearances to Flowerland include fellow Angelino Dent May, sitarist Ami Dang, Kuo-Hung Tseng from Sunset Rollercoaster 落日飛車, Jules Crommelin of Berlin-by-way-of-Australia’s Parcels, Dutch multi-instrumentalist Fay Lovsky, as well as the brothers of Florida-based Edmondson, who beefed up the record’s percussion.
While Davis and Polack are quick to preface themselves by specifying that this third album was never intended as a magic elixir for covid times (it was in fact finished before the pandemic began), Flowerland should leave listeners feeling as fresh as morning dew, armed to tackle the surprises 2021 may bring with P&TO’s sunlit melodies and thoughtful lyrics echoing in their minds.
SINGLES & RELEASE CALENDAR
June 8 – “Treasure Island” Single
Treasure Island is the name of a beloved beach town on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The TI beachfront is home to a number of pretty iconic 1950s roadside architectural landmarks, like the Thunderbird Resort’s oversize neon sign, which we reference in the opening line of the song. It’s not a hidden-getaway type of spot but to us that beach always radiated a kind of magical healing energy. This song—whose basic rhythm track was composed and recorded in a 10-minute span at Rockaway studio in December 2018—was our humble attempt at bottling Treasure Island’s atmosphere, in musical form. Featuring “the funkiest drum machine ever,” according to Shags.
July 7 – “Soft Science” Single + Album Announcement
In this semi-autobiographical chorus-less duet, grad school anxiety materializes into an argument between lovers, the premise of which was inspired by nouvelle vague tropes surrounding domestic ennui: x wants to go to the beach, but y is hesitant because they aren’t done reading and “soft science is hard” (silly we). We also had the immense pleasure of getting Kuo-Hung Tseng—the wonderful singer and mastermind behind Taiwanese jazz-pop band Sunset Rollercoaster—to feature as co-lead singer on this track, making it the very first p&to song featuring a guest on lead vocals!
August 12 – “Evening Sun” Single
One of the more somber tracks on the album. The idea for this song was to turn the ‘Endless Summer’ trope on its head, following our own reckoning with the fact that the once paradisiac promise of eternal Summer had actually turned into a dystopian menace—old Florida tourism ads and classic sunshine state iconography seem particularly eerie nowadays. The lyric was also inspired by our rediscovery of long June days in Paris, when the sun doesn’t set until 10pm, and the correlated experience of having become strangers in our hometown. We recorded the basic rhythm track with Greg Bette (aka Garçon de Plage) and Alexis Fugain (aka Biche) at Alexis’ Studio Claudio, located on a very peaceful property nearby a duck pond, about an hour outside of Paris. Back then the song wasn’t fully fleshed out, but it magically came together in the studio. Working with Alexis on the initial arrangement of this track remains one of the highlights of the making of Flowerland.
Sept 3 – Full Album
All songs were written and composed by Pearl & The Oysters, except « Baby » (Caetano Veloso)
P&TO is:Juliette Pearl Davis (lead vocals, flute, synths)Joachim Polack (keys/synths, backing vocals, bass, guitar, violin, percussion)
Recorded in multiple bedroom studios across Gainesville, FL with additional recording at:- Sound Factory, LA- Honeymoon Suite, LA – Axis Mundi’s Beach Hut, NY- Pulp Arts, Gainesville- Studio Claudio, Lévis Saint Nom[Additional overdubs tracked in Austin, Berlin, Taipei, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris]
Mixed by Shags Chamberlain at Pulp Arts (Gainesville, FL) and Studio Avenue 54 Resort (Los Angeles, CA)Mastered by David IvesArtwork by Ardneks
Radio: Jeff Conklin, email@example.com
Pearl & The Oysters
Release date: Friday, September 3rd 2021
Airplay Date: Tuesday, June 8th 2021
1.01 Soft Science 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 2.02 Bit Valley 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 3.03 Treasure Island 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 4.04 Radiant Radish 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 5.05 Crocodile 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 6.06 Candy 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 7.07 Flowerland 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 8.08 Evening Sun 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER 9.09 Baby 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER10.10 Wizzo 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER11.11 Ostreoid Asteroid 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER12.12 Satellite 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER13.13 Rocket Show 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER14.14 Flamingo Sketches 44 1K 24BIT FINAL MASTER
photo by Laura Moreau
album artwork by Ardneks
We would like to thank Gabriel Birnbaum-PR of Clandestine PR for the press release and artist profile.