Not all music is totally original. In fact, it could be argued that most of it is largely derivative. However, an artist can free themselves from the trappings of conventional-sounding music by way of transcendent songwriting, or even a gimmick for those less talented. Unfortunately, London’s Megaflora have neither of these.
Megaflora’s sound on their new mini-album, ‘Redwoods’ (a follow-up to last year’s self-titled EP) is an updated version of C86 indie-pop, all jangly guitars and twee-sounding vocals. While this is not a bad thing in of itself, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
There are flourishes of potential and interesting ideas, such as the subtle yet effective vocal harmonies that kick in during the latter half of ‘Stories’, or the melancholy guitar tone that resonates throughout ‘Confidence’. The vocal play-offs between the two vocalists throughout also work well, giving the songs more nuance.
However, these flashes are all too fleeting, and most of ‘Redwoods’ melds into the same, unoriginal mess, with many of the songs sounding too much like each other. The opening two tracks, ‘London’ and ‘A Mess’ sound like the same song played at different speeds, and there isn’t anything that particularly sticks out until ‘Confidence’.
The final track, ‘Anxious’ is a decent enough song on its own, but ends the album on an odd, messy note, feeling flat and anti-climatic: a jarring end to a largely uneventful album.
That’s not to say that ‘Redwood’ is terrible: it’s a warm and sometimes fun throwaway indie-pop album that’s filled with charm. Fans of the jangly, twee indie-pop will find a halfway decent listen here, but there’s not much in the way of substance for the average listener. ‘Redwood’ is generally unfulfilling and at times tedious because of its lack of originality. Hopefully next time around Megaflora can deliver a more satisfying album, because it’s still early days for them and there is potential here.
‘Redwood’ by Megaflora is out now on Everything Sucks Music.
Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)