White Flags of Winter Chimneys

White Flags of Winter Chimneys

The artists formerly of Prince & The Revolution deliver their first album since 1998’s Girl Brothers. Where that one found Wendy & Lisa veering further from dance pop, White Flags of Winter Chimneys finalizes the divorce, embracing gossamer songs reminiscent of 4AD’s This Mortal Coil. The title is a reference to Joni Mitchell’s 1976 epic Hejira and like that album, White Flags shares a pensive melancholia with lyrics musing on more dark and complicated aspects of the times. In “Balloon” Lisa sings about finding bliss in her balloon, a good fit for 21st century urban dwellers building bubbles around their lives to keep a safe distance from the troubled world outside. “Invisible” drives a bit faster with a pulsing beat, and when she sings “Shine like when you were mine” it’s hard to not take it as a nod to Prince. Speaking of references, “Salt & Cherries (MC5)” not only references the Motor City Five, but the guitars here rock hard in a Fred “Sonic” Smith like tribute. Conversely, the featherweight guitars on the title track strum and chime with pillowy softness before flirting with chorus-heavy ‘80s goth in the closing “Sweet Suite (Beginning At the End).”

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