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Listening Party: Flock of Dimes

December 19, 2012

Listening Party
“(This is Why) I Can’t Wear White” 7-inch
(Frenchkiss records)
With the recent unveiling of the sugary sweet pop group Dungeonesse, Jenn Wasner, whom most of you know as the guitar-shredding singer of Wye Oak, has doubled up on side projects. It’s exciting to see where Wasner and Jon Ehrens of White Life will take Dungeonesse, but it still feels like we’re only getting to know Wasner’s solo exploits as Flock of Dimes. The “(This is Why) I Can’t Wear White” 7-inch is the third release under that moniker, and it strikes a perfect balance between the previous two. The A-side on the first release, “Prison Bride,” saw Wasner stretching vocal melodies like taffy over a jaunty electronic beat. Both “Curtain” and “Apparition” on the second release were spare and ruminative, just Wasner, the strumming of a guitar, and production effects that embellished more than overtook. “(This is Why I Can’t) Wear White” has the same deliberate pace as the “Curtain” single, but it works in a broader palette, bringing in a slick little backing beat and electronic percussion and employing a vocal hook in the chorus that ranks as the best of any Flock of Dimes song to date. B-side “15” is a little more heavy handed with the electronics but it doesn’t overwhelm Wasner’s hopscotching vocal coo. Yes, we can’t wait for the next candy-coated offering from Dungeonesse. But these songs serve as a nice reminder that the promise shown in the earliest Flock of Dimes material is not to be forgotten. (Brandon Weigel)