With Zac Farro back in the game with Paramore it wouldn’t seem terribly far fetched to conclude that his project Halfnoise would go on hiatus, or at least be relegated to “side project” status. Not so with Halfnoise.
It’s fairly apparent to me that Zac had a heavy influence in the new “indie” direction of Paramore, if the Flowerss EP is any indication. The evolution of Halfnoise continues to progress—the Of Monsters and Men-esque cinematic folky rock that was present in the Volcano Crowe (and, let’s be honest, what other sound would you expect with an album title like that?) is gone in exchange for a jangly, psych-rock influenced sound that would be more at home with wannabe Portlandians than grown up scene kids.
The first three tracks power through one after the other, taking cues from artists like Hoops and Porches. “All That Love Is” is the most “dancey” of the three. It has the odd effect of sounding more jangly and indie in the context of the album, and on it’s own giving more emphasis to the dance-pop element. It reminds me a lot of parts of Arcade Fire’s Reflektor album.
A highlight of the EP for me occurs in “Every Single Time” in which an effect that seems to fall somewhere between electric guitar and synth. I couldn’t place initially where I had heard that effect before… and then I realized it was Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” That is going to sound like an insult, but the thing is it mixes nostalgia for a decade I barely lived in with the modern jangle-pop sound, and I really dig that. “Always Young” ends the EP on a slightly more ethereal note, making extensive use of one short but piercing theme.
All in all, the Flowerss EP shows it’s okay to enjoy something colorful every once in awhile, even if it isn’t that glossy.