Allicin Records · November 8, 2022
Deadharrie’s new record Florida comes right off the tails of the release of their third album earlier this year, Summoning. Upon initial listen, it became apparent that Summoning was not only one of the most sonically intriguing indie rock records to release this year, but had some of the catchiest songwriting as well. Luckily, Florida mostly holds up to this standard despite being released only a few months after Summoning, which is a testament to the band members’ creative endurance.
A lot of the same basic ingredients from Summoning and Deadharrie’s prior releases are here in Florida – the low, warm guitar tones, the whispery and slightly awkward vocal delivery, and the muted, somewhat compressed drum production. That being said, the consistently inventive songwriting keeps the songs interesting. For example, the opening track “South” has a very slow, sliding, high-pitched guitar riff that is comforting and nostalgic. This complements the lyrics beautifully, which paints the picture of two lovers moving down south, describing their dreams and aspirations of what they might do while living there. Florida, the band’s home state, seems to be a pretty common lyrical theme throughout the record (which makes sense considering the album’s name). There are a few passages where the lyrics describe the scenery and landscape of the Sunshine State such as the first verse of “Emberly.” Across the album, Deadharrie’s lyrics create a lot with a little; this is especially apparent on “Nuzzled,” which discusses the feeling of being friends with someone superficial.
The band also plays with some new sounds on this record, most prominently a strange compressed guitar tone. It’s on a few tracks, and it makes note transitions feel sort of strange – the best comparison is a guitar otamatone. It works very well in most cases, especially on “Emberly,” “Florida,” and “Jubilee” by adding a piercing, scorching sound to the softer, more enveloping guitar production that is also present. However, the real flaw of this album is that Deadharrie doesn’t evolve their sound too much. This is apparent on tracks like “Bounce,” which, while enjoyable, sounds a little more generic than a lot of the tracks on Summoning. this is to be expected, though, considering the record is coming so soon after their last one and is only twenty-nine minutes. Generally, the record is high quality.
Florida is another collection of great Deadharrie tracks in their signature style. Future endeavors could definitely expand and implement more sonic variety – but for now, this is a solid release from Deadharrie. One can only hope they’ll grow in popularity over the coming years.