Review: Anemone bring bright, blossoming psych-rock on their debut Beat My Distance

Rating: NNN

Anemone may have taken their name from a Brian Jonestown Massacre song, but you can’t help but notice the Montreal band’s likeness to the flower – a bright blossom somewhere between a taut ranunculus and a dizzying poppy. They’re often called wind flowers, which feels and sounds temporal and breezy – a lot like the bright, contemporary psych-rock this band produces. There’s something comforting in indulging in the beautiful glistening elements. 

The group’s debut jangles and clashes and swirls. They dip in and out of the past and present, sounding retro but not gaudy, like they’re slipping on a dusty costume. 

Vanilla (Here We Go Again) is sonically anything but vanilla, a kaleidoscope of colour emerging through synth. On Sunshine (Back To The Start) singer Chloé Soldevila’s vocals sound like how sunshine feels. Segue is a three-minute instrumental interlude that functions as a reprieve. 

Memory Lane and Only You are the two stand outs. The first is a smooth anti-love song with twangy guitars, while the other is a tribute to both early 60s psychedelia and a restless sense of love and freedom. The album pops and fizzles and espouses tenderness.

Shimmering is a word often overused in music writing, but it has weight here. Anemone aim to dazzle and lure us in with psych rock that isn’t so abrasive or heavily loaded with masculine energy as it can often be. 

The record lags a little in the middle as the songs start to blend together. There’s enough differentiation that you don’t want to skip them altogether, but it’s a kink to work out on later records. 

Top track: Memory Lane

Anemone play the Garrison on February 16 as part of Wavelength Winter Festival. See listing.

@nowtoronto | @sarahsmacdonald

Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content