Flotilla Disaster Poetry

The appeal of a genuinely innocent-sounding female vocal is an eternally enduring one, and Flotilla singer/songwriter Veronica Charnley’s lovely voice would be sweet enough to make the album even if the music sucked. Luckily, it doesn’t — the band features members with legitimate musical training (including a classical harpist whose subtle touches add volumes to the songs’ pop foundations), and the album’s combination of humane introspection and sophisticated songwriting is a good one. Their more upbeat numbers are pretty and engaging, and their piano ballads are both intimate and hook-laden in a ’70s singer-songwriter vein. Flotilla do their best when they capitalise on their original ideas and retro influences — their ventures into Death Cab For Cutie/Joan of Arc-ish soft post-rock, though good for what they are, sound poor compared to their more straightforward shining moments. This is their debut, however, and it’s understandable that the band would want to steady their footing in the genres of today. Their unique flare is apparent even when constrained by contemporary form, and this shows a lot of promise. (Independent)