Review – WZO

cd - wzoHello, Blue Roses

WZO

(JAZ Records)

B-

Nicholas Friesen @Nicholastronaut

Ready to get weird and sad? Vancouver visual artist Sydney Hermant occasionally makes music with her partner Dan Bejar (Destroyer) as Hello, Blue Roses. 2008’s The Portrait is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty… was a quirk-pop masterpiece, with nothing like it before or since… until now? Bejar basically plays backup again on the follow-up, which was produced by his Swan Lake collaborator Carey Mercer, as this is Hermant’s show. Her delicately thick vocals sprawl all over synths and guitars (both fuzzed out and acoustic) throughout the LP’s 10 cuts. Opener “Amulet” gets you “drunk on yesterday’s morning dew,” while “Errant Sophie” spirals in arrhythmic areas, peppered with a little Bejar drawl. For almost every great track, like the frail “Wading Pools,” there’s an equally frustrating one (“Alizarin Cream”), which at least balances things out. Then there’s “Crashing,” with its dark simplicity, it could find its way into the next season of Twin Peaks. But it will likely stay just where it is, in the corners of obscurity, waiting to be discovered by a new generation long after the one that discarded it.

jazrecords.com/helloblueroses