Published Apr 09, 2018Boston-based indie rock act Fiddlehead are a musical dream team, featuring vocalist Patrick Flynn and drummer Shawn Costa (both of Have Heart) and Basement guitarist Alex Henery. The group released 2014's Out of the Bloom EP on Lockin' Out Records to a short period of praise, but the all-star effort was mostly known as a secondary project until this year.
Fiddlehead's full-length debut, Springtime and Blind, stems from the loss of Flynn's father. The lyrical output is an emotional purgation; channelling his and his mother's pain into an aching, relatable ambience.
Springtime and Blind offers a poignant musical perspective on the coming-of-age feelings of springtime. The sonic result meets in the middle of their two formers, forging an identity all their own, while also a visitation to '90s rock like Seaweed and Jawbreaker. It is a sound that many of Basement's peers have formulaically attempted to mimic, but not since Title Fight's Floral Green has a band unified post-hardcore aggression with delicate melodies in such an extraordinary manner.
Through banging percussion, "USMA" takes listeners to the United States Military Academy, sharing an emotional and nostalgic perspective on the place where Flynn's father is buried. Whether he is singing or screaming, the song is an indication of his bleeding heart passion and vulnerability as a frontman.
"My World" and "Tidal Waves" explore grooving cymbals, soothing bridges and loud, grungy choruses in seamless song structures that are as fragile as they are devastating. "Head Hands" is the lone stutter; it struggles to keep up with the same soaring dynamics as the rest of the album, but every song on Springtime and Blind still manages to feel like a crucial piece of an essential puzzle.
"Window in the Sunlight" is a conclusive and optimistic last breath. "Sunlight / moonlight / this life / next life" is crooned over velvety melodies and acts as a summative motto for the album; an evaluation of life's cycling feelings, with a yearning for joy and reunions to come. (Run For Cover)