Second Stage: Little-Known Bands You Should Hear

Second Stage: Flotilla

Download "Charlie I'm Through" by Flotilla (Right-click or control-click to save to your computer)

Admittedly, Veronica Charnley of the band Flotilla has a vocal style that doesn't always appeal to me. It's a bit overwrought at times. But it works perfectly with the intricate orchestrations on the band's latest album, One Hundred Words for Water, creating a concoction that's hard to tear yourself away from. Charnley writes the songs for Flotilla, while multi-instrumentalist Geof Holbrook does the arrangements, which ultimately define the band.


Benoit Moniere, Geof Holbrook, Veronica Charnley, Eveline-Gregoire Rousseau (courtesy of the artist)

Self-described as a "half-Anglo, half-Franco, boy-girl, boy-girl" band, based in Montreal, Flotilla offers an interesting alternative to today's indie-rock stereotypes. Just when you think you understand what a song is all about, it shifts and turns into something different. Their sound is hard to put your finger on, which is precisely what makes it so interesting. The band also features the beautiful harp work of Eveline-Gregoire Rousseau and the percussion of drummer Benoit Moniere. Geof Holbrook plays everything from guitars to Fender Rhodes and autoharp. Many of the cuts have the plodding, rhythmic drive of Broken Social Scene, with vocals that could at times even be mistaken for Leslie Feist. On other songs, the band explores a more wispy and ethereal style, with hard-hitting but minimalist beats, and Charnley chirping above it all in a way that can't escape comparison to Portishead.

Once I really dived into One Hundred Words for Water, I had a tough time choosing just one track to share. "Charlie I'm Through" is probably the catchiest song, but they cover so much ground on the album, you should really try to listen to the whole thing, or hear more at their MySpace page.



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"Charlie I'm Through" by Flotilla:

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