Austin, TX's One Hundred Flowers' November 2010 debut
release, Mechanical Bride, is a stunning piece of indie-pop.
Splitting the difference between the tween indie-folk of The
Shins and the grandiose orchestrations of The Decemberists,
One Hundred Flowers finds the perfect middle-ground with songs
that are fully fleshed out without falling victim to over-production.
This collection of gorgeously craft songs is deeply layered both
vocally and instrumentally. Perfectly placed background vocals
and harmonies, supplied by a cast of female vocalists, add a depth
to the production that is often missing from indie-pop debuts.
Likewise, the instrumentation is impeccable. Flutes, accordions,
clarinets, and cellos can result in a bloated mess when used poorly.
This is never the case with One Hundred Flowers. The arrangements
serve only to support the mood and themes of this collection of
There is also a timelessness to One Hundred Flowers' presentation.
Like a history of modern indie-rock, Mechanical Bride references
its influences without copying anything that came before. There
are hints of early-era R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs;
The Sundays and The Cranberries; as well as contemporaries
and the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and Edward Sharpe
& The Magnetic Zeros. All these influences mashed up and
spit out on Mechanical Bride, an album uniquely their own.
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