John Gold: A Flower in Your Head

John Gold: A Flower in Your Head
Back in the day I loved Vagrant Records. They released some of the best records of my high school years like The Get Up KidsSomething to Write Home About, Hey MercedesEverynight Fire Works, and Hot Rod Circuit‘s Sorry About Tomorrow. But since high school, I think the Hold Steady is the only band on Vagrant that I have bought an album by. It is nothing personal against the label but I just lost touch with their catalog of artists. Perhaps that is why I was so excited to see the latest release from Vagrant Records, John Gold‘s A Flower in Your Head, on the top of my album’s to review pile.
Vagrant used to put out mostly emo records. Now, Vagrant releases mostly indie pop records and John Gold’s A Flower in Your Head is no different. The singer/songwriter self-released two albums before making the leap to a Vagrant. But even before record label backing, John Gold’s music found its way into television soundtracks and commercials.
What makes Gold’s music so appealing is his use of textures. His main instrument is the acoustic guitar so that makes up the backing for most of his songs. After the acoustic guitar, sounds just keep getting layered upon his work. I listen to a song like “The Loop”. It starts with just acoustic guitar and then vocals are added. That last for about twenty seconds before drums and bass are added in with a slight hint of electric guitar feedback and some electronic keyboard blips. About a minute in, a lush string arrangement enters the mix. Once the chorus kicks in, vocals are multi-tracked to create a choir-esque effect. The gradual building of sounds into such a strong crescendo reminds me of The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude.”
These type of epic pop songs are where John Gold really succeeds. There are a few tracks that are a little more understated that do not work nearly as well but for the most part, A Flower in Your Head keeps a high quality. It is a nice record for Gold’s Vagrant Records debut.
Rating: 7.3/10
MP3: John Gold “The Loop”
Buy: iTunes