Flock of Dimes: Like So Much Desire EP (Sub Pop) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, September 30th, 2020  

Flock of Dimes

Like So Much Desire EP

Sub Pop

Jun 24, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner has found herself in high demand the past few years. These things tend to happen for those that put in the work and do it well. Aside from the group she founded, Wasner appeared with Sylvan Esso on their Echo Mountain Sessions and toured with the duo, ending up on their live album WITH. More recently she was added as a member of Bon Iver for last year’s i,i album and ensuing tour. In her spare time, Wasner somehow managed to record and surprise release a new EP under her solo side project, Flock of Dimes. With the release of Like So Much Desire, Wasner also landed herself a spot on Sub Pop’s roster. 

With so much in motion, it feels natural that Wasner allows herself to catch her breath—at least for the 20 minutes or so it takes for the EP to unspool. Like So Much Desire leaves behind any sense of frenetically paced synths of her earlier work in favor of a more supple and mature approach. What stands out given the less cluttered soundscape is the depth and warmth of Wasner’s vocals. The opening “Spring in Winter” is a perfect example as piano notes and strings wend their way around the suppleness of her voice. Some synths find their way in later in the song, but are no more obtrusive than the birds that populate Wasner’s tale of a day’s respite from frigid surroundings.  

Wasner recorded Like So Much Desire on her own, with drums (JT Bates) and string contributions (Paul and Michi Wiancko and Ayane Kozasa) added remotely. Bates comes in on the sprightly title song where Wasner’s vocals are multi-tracked to add substance to the slightly  more involved track. With the brief running time, everything here is worthwhile and of substance, but the gentle pulse of “When the Body Does Not” stands out. The specificity of loss on the opening lines “It doesn’t take much to make me cry, you know why” is biting. When the strings come alongside her as the song moves on the emotive strain is doubled down. The closing “Thank You Friends and Strangers” is a prayerful meditation on putting ones art out into the world wrapped up in an ancient folk ballad. 

Wasner is a force to be reckoned with but on Like So Much Desire that is brought with an unforeseen gentleness. Arriving at a time when so little in life is balanced, the EP takes the pulse down a notch and gets to the deeply personal. Letting her voice take center stage, Wasner gets her message across like never before. (www.flockofdimes.com)  

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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