Doomed romance and regret are central themes to this winter album
Dead Flowers’ gravel-voiced ringleader Ian Williams has been writing and recording songs for five years or so. Back in 2011, he found himself in Coney Island’s iconic fairground when inspiration struck and ‘Wonderwheel’, this eight-track debut’s most dazzling track, was born. Then began a road trip to Montreal, where this album was mostly recorded (it was mastered by Arcade Fire engineer Ryan Morey), and the songs flowed. As you might imagine from an album penned in the heart of winter, it’s bleak, with doomed romance and regret as central themes, recalling Tom Waits and Bill Callahan. Thankfully whenever it becomes too much, the lightness and strings, accordion and lap steel lift it out of the gloom to create something quite magical.