ADAM AND THE AMETHYSTS – Flickering Flashlight

I’ve never owned one of those ordinary-looking rocks chopped in half with amethyst crystals bulging out like grape Kool-Aid, but in front of me is the Montreal-based band Adam and the Amethysts’ second album of indie pop, and it’s pretty darn nice. Genre-wise, it also fits under the euphemous description “psychedelic folk,” but it’s crafted from pretty familiar ingredients. Nothing about this record strikes me as particularly memorable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. Flickering Flashlight is delicate but never weak, and filled with little odds and ends that keep things interesting. Here and there are gleeful yells, and the tune to “Auld Lang Syne”; a rhythm reminiscent of music boxes, and strains of violin like sunlit ripples on the lake. “Gitchee Gumee Yeah Yeah” is an unabashedly fun song.  “Get me out of my clothes, and into the cool lake,” croons Adam over a funky bassline and all sorts of dizzying sound effects. “If it seems like I’m dreaming, don’t wake me,” is another lovely line from the song “Dreaming,” filled with low-key beachy sounds. The album ends with “Untitled,” a stirring 40 seconds of melancholy cello. This isn’t going to knock you off your feet, but  it’ll come up on shuffle while you’re riding your bike on a sunny day, and slowly the world will look and sound warmer, crisper, sweeter. The equivalent of apple crumble for your cochleas? Yeah, bring it on. (Kelp Records, Adrienne Yeung

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