Lee Adcock

Bouquet – In A Dream EP (Ulrike / Folktale)

Bouquet – In A Dream EP (Ulrike / Folktale)
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I’ve been bitter lately. It comes and goes, like the ghost limp that jumps between legs. There is this weight in the air, a nagging fear that’s set in with the humid breath left by the rains. In two months, I may not be here. I may be. But if I go, I’ll leave the place where I’ve grown into myself, where I’ve come to grips with being a chick, where I have soaked up decades of lore. I’ve thought about love and lust, and life without either. I have seen the “magic” of this town, and I’ve also seen through it.

I have loved, and not loved, and loved again, without saying a word. It’s better that way, I tell myself. But then the hole opens up again, and you can’t blame anyone but yourself, but you need something to cling to.

Will you hold on to my hand / I’m falling forwards

And then Bouquet shines forth, the purest of sunbeams piercing stormy skies. I want to cry. Someone gets it. They do. What I need. Not love, just a hand.

It’s so simple. I’ve heard these parts before – the bare, lonesome, Link Wray-ish strums; the kitschy bedroom synths and drum machines; the plain and humble Beach Boys-ish harmonies with no frills, just sheer light. Each bit bolsters the others – the kitsch dissolves, the lone strums lift it out of the bedroom, the bittersweet melodies resonate into the future.

Like Young Marble Giants, sort of, but without any light bass jogs, and ergo certainly not post-punk at all.

At the EP’s center, “Come To Your House” gushes with warmth, dazzles with meaty power chords, dispels the shadows – but sunken in that bright array is a wish, a secret wish, to penetrate the private quarters of someone loved from afar. She asks for nothing more than to be among his things, peek inside his world. “You’ll never even notice.

Further out, rest the shades. Loneliness abounds on the dialed-back “Stacks on Stacks”, but it’s a calm kind of lonely – the kind of gentle breeze promised by all those LPs with people standing in green pastures. And yet, something hides below, somewhere under the soft shaggy rug. Then Bouquet pull the rug out for “Over Mountains”, and you’re even closer to that hidden thing, which isn’t a thing but a thought, an unspoken thought peeking through the cracks.

And of course, there’s “Falling”. And I want to cry. I nearly did a few minutes ago. Because they know. They know how it feels, to be alone when the hole in yr chest opens wide, and how the hole covers up the real world; and how that hole wasn’t always there, how dread slips in on the walk home, where it shouldn’t belong. I’m going to cry again. The way the chipper drum beat jumps in kills me every time. The way it drops out kills me, too. And the way the synth sounds…that is indeed the keyboard tone for sunshine. Has to be. Like Oppenheimer Analysis and the pulsing heart behind the humming machine.

Bouquet make beautiful music. Not lovely, not gorgeous, not sweet, none of those casual hype-train terms. Beautiful. Like flowers – real flowers, with real and cushy petals.

Buy this sucker here.

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