It’s safe to say that Fireflies is a bedroom pop band. Autumn Almanac, their new full-length, just solidifies the statement as it follows the path Fireflies journeyed down in Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon. It’s the sound Fireflies’ Lisle Mitnik favored on his EPs Strange and Butterscotch. With Autumn Almanac, however, change has occurred. The band has added a great deal more orchestration to the mix.
“Paper Crane” has a full-bodied, near voluptuous sound; not something you’d expect from bedroom pop. Still, Mitnik’s hushed vocals maintain their prior soft warmth, and his guitar is as clean and cool as everything that came before. There’s also more jangle, albeit masked somewhat by the orchestration, the slap of a tambourine, and various subtle pop effects.
“Summer Too Soon” will make you long for the season to arrive, while “Sunsets In June” basks in the desire for sunny evenings to return. This is music to enjoy fireside, with a warm blanket, a fresh-brewed cup of coffee or cocoa, and reminiscence on the recently put-to-bed season of summer. The window provides a perfect division between the comfort inside and the dreary downpour just beyond the shutters.
As Autumn Almanac winds to a close, a realization hits. Mitnik has obviously progressed, and in doing so he has migrated from the bedroom to the living room. It’s a change that is welcome – the larger sounds mean there’s more depth, more intrigue. Autumn Almanac is a great release, sure to be fully loved by the fan of indie pop, baroque pop, orchestral pop, twee pop, everything in between, and everything even remotely related.
And while that early sound is absolutely stunning, and the modern one is still far from loud, this progression is worthy of a substantial nod of the head. It makes you look forward to a lazy, rainy weekend. Perfect music for Seattle, or even Fireflies very own Chicago.
Littlemusic [CD, 2009]
1. The Breeze
2. Paper Crane
3. Your Map
4. Piano Song
5. Everything’s Hidden Away
6. Stars Falling Down
9. Summer Too Soon
10. Sunsets In June
11. A Thousand Days