What Laura Says – “Bloom Cheek”
-out June 22
3.5 / 5

Phoenix, AZ must be humming constantly with harmonies and spacey keyboard according to the second and latest offering by What Laura Says. There are several upbeat influences here, and the latest of them seems to come from Grizzly Bear; Bloom Cheek shares some of their structure, their sense of harmony and quirky, lush instrumentation. Right from the opening, the single-note guitar-build and rhythmic vocals of “Training” shows that this is not a precise, calculated band, but one that is meant to be enjoyed. Many of these tracks are enjoyable, including the intimate keyboards and Conor Oberst vocals of the title track, but throughout there is a sense that they’re borrowing a bit too much from their influences. Which, in addition to Grizzly Bear, is a pastiche of 60s-70s pop bands (from America to The Zombies with Beatles’ cheekiness a la “Her Majesty”) Mississippi-inspired rock/blues (“Gardener of Wonder”), to psychedelia (“I’d Dance for You”). It is fair to say they cover a fair range, and rather well; but as well-read as What Laura Says is, it’s perhaps their greatest weakness here, as a few licks feel a bit too familiar. Still, it’s bloody good stuff, and definitely recommended.

Listen to “Training”: www.myspace.com/453173424

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