Adam & the Amethysts Flickering Flashlight

Adam & the Amethysts Flickering Flashlight
Former Miracle Fortress man Adam Waito has taken another step forward with Flickering Flashlight, his second album under the Adam & the Amethysts moniker. Three years after releasing his debut, Amethyst Amulet, the Montreal-based musician has upped the production values and tightened up the songwriting, replacing his ramshackle DIY aesthetic with snappier arrangements. That hardly means Waito's lost his musical charms; he's simply replaced his lo-fi leanings with stronger musical statements, including satisfying flourishes of psychedelia throughout ― both the title track and opener "Tall Tall Building" take inspiration from countryman Chad VanGaalen's catalogue. Elsewhere, Waito sounds similarly inspired by his peers: "Prophecy" rings with the folky bounce of Arcade Fire's "Haiti" and Waito's Miracle Fortress days can be heard on the groovy "Gitche Gumee Yeah Yeah." Besides the cheesy waltz of "The Country," Flickering Flashlight is an exercise in CanRock gone right. Yes, Waito's songwriting voice could stand to be more strongly heard, but given his trajectory so far, it's not unrealistic to expect him to firmly find it on album number three. (Kelp)