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New A-bee: “Flames”

It’s a theory put out there by a hundred music bloggers before, and one bound to cross your browser again in the future. Regardless…in a time when new music is only a Hype Machine visit away, it’s easy to discard songs that fail to immediately grab your attention. Why waste time listening to something not catchy when a new remix or lo-fi hullabaloo can be just around the digital corner? A-bee’s latest single “Flames” seemed destined to be just another afterthought a few listens through. It’s a slowly unfolding song, just too plain for my taste. Needs more shouting, needs more kazoo, needs more anything capable of making it stand out immediately.

So…of course, after giving “Flames” a bit more attention, I’ve decided it’s actually beautiful, a late blooming flower with all sorts of awesome details on the petals. All sorts of sounds flash across during the light electro introduction, before A-bee switch into Yo La Tengo ballad mode. The distant drone of violins and some double-tracked vocals hint at the whole thing dissolving into typical over-the-top crooning, but the gurgling electronics rubbing up against the twinkly piano on the chorus keep that from happening. And the slow build leads to excellent release, as the vocals soar, elevating above the sticky mix of keys and bleeps. Give it some time, and “Flames” will knock you down.