Tilly and the Flowers – Queen of Awkward Situations

by | May 15, 2018 | Song of the Day

“Queen of Awkward Situations,” by Tilly and the Flowers, has a smiling, sixties-ish, Huey Lewis meets the Zombies vibe. And you are welcome to continue soaking in those sunny rays for as long as it takes the tonearm to make its inevitable journey from the outer edge of the record to the terminal groove encircling the label. The lyrics, though, suggest the B-side of the vinyl disc is scratched and worn from always lying face down on a turntable that hasn’t been wiped off since the last time The Lettermen were on the charts. Listen closely to the words, and you might need to toss a slug of whiskey into that cherry Coke you’ve been sipping.

I neglect everyone I care about
Cause I don’t want to be a pain
I think I’ve got it figured out
But I’ve got the rules for the wrong game…

Tilly and the Flowers is the solo project of Forth Worth musician Stephanie Buchanan, aka guitarist and lead singer of The Crystal Furs. Steph describes the music of Tilly and the Flowers as “retro-flavored pop that goes down like a candy-coated razor blade. Come for the bouncy melodies, stay for the soul-crushing lyrics.”

Stephanie has an excellent voice, with a resonance and quality that would be perfect for crooning Carpenters songs in a piano bar, if the piano was played by Warren Zevon. Which I would definitely pay to see, since Warren has been dead for fifteen years. Steph likes to throw the listener a curve now and then, changing keys and tempos, and using non-standard (that is, not your basic I-IV-V) chord progressions. You’re tapping your foot and nodding your head, ready to sing along with the chorus and – whoa, where did it go? It’s part of what makes Tilly and the Flowers just not quite the typical retro pop project. That is to say, there’s some Intelligent Design at work here.

Besides Steph Buchanan on vocals, guitars, and songwriting, Tilly and the Flowers is (are?) Paul Boll (guitars, programming, and engineering) and Alan Pollard (background vocals). “Queen of Awkward Situations” is from their new ten-track LP, Girl in the Background, which includes the previously-released single, “Charlatan.”

You can support deserving independent musicians like Tilly and the Flowers by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. Call now and you can receive all ten tracks of Girl in the Background for the low low price of only $5! Operators are standing by! And be sure to follow Tilly and the Flowers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email: reverb.raccoon@gmail.com

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