Pop in the Fold: Florrie


Meet UK-native drummer, singer, songwriter Florrie. The ambassador of contempo-bossa-synth-pop dropped her debut “Introduction” EP this week; and well, needless to say, I haven’t heard music this poppin’ fresh from across the pond since I hopped off the Lily pad.

Florrie in three:

  • Florrie: as traditional a musician and performer as can possibly be, but at the same time a completely new type of independent pop artist.
  • Florrie’s bold, attention-grabbing pop music is at once robotic and human, chunky and svelte, big on ideas and not shy of explosive choruses.
  • Florrie is a 21 year old artist, originally from Bristol in the south-west of the UK.

The four-track EP is a warm welcome from the Bristol native. “Introduction” is an expansive sound board touching on disco, alternative, funk, and ska. Each track clings to a specific sonic aesthetic, and though brief, the debut is a broad-reaching soundscape that blends the best of Florrie’s wide-spread influences and contemporaries.

“Call of the Wild” comes in like the smoky haze of a surfer speakeasy as want you need you it’s the call of the wild, something animal more than physical; satisfy me ‘cos I’m fallin’ apart, synchronicity in our chemistry rides over subtle electric wet string reverb. Layered guitar and percussion build beneath breathy vocals as the woman-not-siren calls before a Misirlou-esque riff crashes onto a bossa beach. The track is a clear standout, with strong lyrics and oscillating instrumentation – one minute coasting through a mellow beatbox bridge, only to swell back into a sonic tsunami of bombast.

It’s the sound of the underground gone rogue – not from the girls aloud, but from the lone one that howled wolf; wild called: it said when it pounds like this – you can keep the sound. Here we have something animal, more than physical; where modern pop was vapid, this is something more like visceral. “Introduction” is Florrie’s foray into mainstream pop for music lovers: synth layered with actual percussion, beatboxing/jazz/bossa with urban elements, ephemeral vocals bathed – not drowning – in effortlessly multi-layered instrumentation.

“Give Me Your Love” blends deep indigenous percussion with acoustic piano, resembling the aural offspring of Coldplay and Kenna. The omnipresent, but understated, ambient synth gives the track a larger-than-life atmospheric feel without being overbearing. Florrie’s singer/songwriter tandem is highlighted here as her tone gives a certain human depth to strong, You’re playing with dangerous, No stranger trust – your mind can set you free, but otherwise universally generic lyrics, Oh won’t be the one that got away, you know it baby; oh I’ve got you hooked this time and predator catches it prey. “Give Me Your Love” would rest as comfortably alongside an indie romance film’s protagonist-couple-post-breakup-epiphanic-realization-that-we’re-made-for-each-other-and-thus-are-running-towards-each-other-in-front-of-this-fountain-where-we-first-met crescendo, as it would in a Diplo Blackberry Torch commercial, or nestled on your home stereo.

The sleeper one to watch is “Summer Nights.” It’s a neo-retro spectacle – a pinch of “Summerboy,” a splash of Sandy, a dash of Junior Senior, some La Roux here, some Little Boots there, and thus:

This is what we in the business call the “Four-on-the-Florrie” time signature – a perpetual electric slide across the dirty disco: terrestrial electronic percussion, tabasco guitar licks, vaporous vocals, and zephyr synth effects ebbing-and-flowing seamlessly beneath hand-clap splashes. This is where disco and Danny Zuko meet again for a Summer nightcap – Glitter and Grease sonic cocktail on tap.

Florrie’s debut is proof that creativity flourishes despite direct commerce; and while they say the music industry is dying, the good news is that music is doing fabulously:

Well, I have received offers from major labels – the first offer was in February and I’ve had more enquiries from the UK, Europe and North America since… So, why haven’t I signed? … The most important thing is to keep getting my music out there to as many people as possible and hopefully finding new fans along the way. The best way for me to do this is to continue to make my music available for you guys to listen to whilst not being afraid to develop my sound as I go along. … I believe there are certain things that I need to do first to give me the best chance of succeeding in the future and also allow myself the time to experiment and create the music I really want to make. I’m also having loads of fun and that is what it’s all about.

Free, fresh, and Florrie is the new fly, fresh, and flashy; in this economy and industry – chock full of dime-a-dozen assembly line singles – cheap music is worthless, while free music like this is priceless. Freedom and music: yes please.

#mytwocents: I’m really excited about this one. She’s got a fresh sound, but it’s familiar in all the right ways – merging elements of different genres, artists, and vibes without directly clinging to one specific sound. Even without the pretense of “UK, drummer, singer, songwriter” her sonic identity reflects the best aspects of those titles. Her sound is very British Pop – some Lily, some La Roux, splash of Little Boots, the bossa-sixties sound of Emma Bunton – which is not to be confused with the American concept of “mainstream,” “Top 40,” or “bubblegum” – which are mere euphemisms for “generic” – but rather the eclectic mix of catchy, but well-crafted, music; Pop that builds an atmosphere with lyrics, tone, timbre, and instrumentation structuring a collective sound – the culture’s metronomic mood. Her structure and production reflect the deft precision of a true percussionist. There’s a signature steady pulse – whether pacemakeing 808 or indigenous tribal heartbeat – that maintains a constant backbeat beneath dynamic guitar, a solid skeleton beneath the flesh tones; with that, she’s tweaked the standard lead/rhythmic guitar band template, and focused on layered percussion with a rhythmic house drummer and her at the lead, to create a brilliant niche sound. But wait there’s more! The vocals work with the instrumentation – coalescing in tandem through crescendos and chord progressions. There’s a certain balance between the lyrical content and vocal tone – when she pulls back during choruses, the repetition blends with the acoustics like an added instrumental layer; then the vocals peak during the verses and ease emphasis on the lyrics over the background sound; finally, bridges blend the two styles before the decrescendo and fade – style and substance pendulum in balance, synchronized in the chemistry between rhyme and rhythm. The compositions are complete, but the composer is far from completed – there’s constant evolution within the entirety. It’s a wonderful “good morning to music” moment when an artist like this comes around. #stopsleeping

Watch This Space:

“Introduction” EP – Tracklist: [Full Album Download – 128 kpbs MP3 Zip with Wallpapers]

01. Call of the Wild [Download – 128 kbps]
02. Give Me Your Love [Download – 128 kbps]
03. Summer Nights [Download – 128 kbps]
04. Left Too Late [Download – 128 kbps]

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