Directly upon the heels of two stellar releases, Every Scene Needs A Center by Tullycraft and Daughters And Suns by The Owls, Magic Marker Records treats us to a bit of a surprise. Where the label’s typical release is inundated with pop and twee, Fred Thomas’ Flood can almost be considered experimental folk, or even freak folk. Learning Thomas’ history in pop will help the listener understand this release and its home on Magic Marker.
Thomas’ better known group currently resides on K Records after a few noted releases on Polyvinyl. His bubblegum pop in Saturday Looks Good To Me has traces of the obscure features he now puts in his solo folk project. These elements give Flood that unique, near freak folk sound most obviously in “Little Songs” and “Last One”, two of the most phenomenal songs on the record. Likewise, the opening title track, “Flood” includes light traces of production.
Thomas’ solo project is primarily just that, with inclusion of a few friends. Magic Marker boasts that the record “brings this special breed of basement heartstring pop music into a new, bold place.” It’s an adequate statement as the lines between the progressive folk and SLGTM’s pop attraction can be very thin. And in Flood, Thomas will shine with memorable hooks and bare-all lyrics. It’ll only take a moment to see, despite the gigantic differences between Saturday Looks Good To Me and the Thomas solo act, that the two worlds are still strikingly similar.
This review was originally published December 17, 2007 on the old version of FensePost.
Magic Marker Records [CD, 2007]
2. Snow Bright
3. No Money
4. Little Songs
5. No, Thank You!
6. At The Start Of The Sun
7. There Was A Flood
9. Ocean Of
10. Sunburn Peel
11. Last One