FLASHLIGHTS Flashlights EP (05.2010, self-released)
For: Javelin, Hollagramz, Memory Tapes
Byline: So hot right now.
This is how I imagine Phoenix would sound if they weren't from Versailles and instead formed in a dank basement somewhere in the midwestern U.S. Actually, that is pretty much exactly how FLASHLIGHTS sound, to their credit. Somewhere, is in fact Boulder, CO, much more known as a playpen for the million-dollar babies of Marin County Democrats to stop bathing or wearing shoes and starting Grateful Dead cover bands than it is known for spawning deliciously sweet glo-fi basement party jams. But here we are. Granted there isn't an easy reference I can point to past 2009, but still, these three songs hold a lot of promise. Endlessly listenable and incredibly catchy, it is clear this duo listen to the right stuff and know how to process it through laptops and midi controllers. Sam Martin's spaced out synth lines revel in a deeply syncopated discohouse groove that makes it impossible not to imagine laserz and smoke machines. The strength of the music comes from how processed it is (an acoustic guitar line on "Diving Bell" is kind of embarassing), even down to Ethan Converse's oddly robotic voice, but you know, a sexy robot. A sexbot. Filtered but unbowed, Converse's falsetto is a compelling homage to Prince and Noah Lennox, and is one of the most flattering components of the album. Three songs, more than worth downloading, which you can do.....here.