BALTIMORE’S Tomato Flower – well, they’re pretty darn cute, truth be told, on the evidence of their debut single, just out now: the bright and woozy, retro-synth informed pop of “Red Machine”. We’ve the video for that, here; it’s airy and pregnant with cute harmonies, and a kind of East River Pipe lo-fi synth wonkiness and welcoming vibe. A sweet, weird tune, in short.
“Red Machine” is but the first fruits (and yeah, it is a fruit, not a vegetable, goddamn) of the band’s forthcoming six-track EP for Ramp Local, Gold Arc, which follows in February. Over the course of its half-dozen tracks, Gold Arc looks to imagine a future, sustainable paradise, constant love, and longing for a different future; and how all of that might look.
“Red Machine” itself has a utopian vision of a global transformation, one that unites city and country and everyone in a worldwide solidarity, all rendered as pocket-sized wonk-pop.
It comes accompanied with a video, itself directed and edited by the band’s Austyn Wohlers, which a panoramic vision of industrial and rural landscapes, reflecting the future imagined lyrically.
“It’s not that all these songs are straightforwardly positive, though,” says Austyn of the EP. “I think all of the songs are about longing for a different world and a different future; but they take various shapes.”
The band arose organically from the long, interwoven friendships of Austyn, Mike Alfieri and Jamison Murphy, with bassist Ruby Mars completing the picture. Aside from a wish for a better world, the quartet are also really intrigued by the marriage of an experimental approach and straight-up pop.
“Sometimes we’ll start with a pop song and we’ll consciously fuck it up – chop time signatures and incorporate dissonance. Sometimes we’ll start from a rockier riff and then we’ll really work on getting the melody to be as catchy as possible,” says Austyn.
“We have this sound in our head that doesn’t exist yet. It’s part pop music, but we also like weirdo stuff. And we’re trying to find whatever that point is that satisfies us.”
The band also have a few live shows coming up just before Christmas, those being as follows:
Wednesday, December 15th, Philadelphia, Khyber Pass Pub;
Thursday, December 16th, Brooklyn, Wonderville;
Saturday, December 18th, Asheville, North Carolina, Static Age, and
Monday, December 20th, Atlanta, Georgia, Bogg’s Social and Supply.
Tomato Flower’s “Red Machine” is streaming everywhere now; their Gold Arc EP will be released by Ramp Local digitally on February 11th and is is available to pre-order here.