On Love Is Yours, guitarist Taylor Mulitz and drummer Emma Baker of Flasher are out to prove that they can still put forth compelling indie rock with a light punk edge. Following their 2018 release Constant Image, they lost their longtime bassist Daniel Saperstein, going from a three piece to a duo. In the meantime, the world went through a pandemic which nearly ended live music as an artistic outlet.
So while other D.C. bands in the scene broke-up during this time, Flasher took the time to recreate themselves without the pressure of a release schedule or touring. This allowed Baker to hone her singing skills and step forward as a co-frontperson, sharing vocal duties with Mulitz. While the band did not stray from their indie, post-punk sound, the pressure-free time to write and record allowed them to expand into a more pop-oriented experience. Long-time friend of the band Owen Wuerker contributed bass, synth, added percussion and vocals to the record.
The first track “I Saw You” kicks off the album with the lyrics “Do I sound sincere? Do I make myself clear?” These are the objectives that Flasher set out to achieve across the 13 tracks on Love Is Yours. Their new collaborative vocal efforts create waiflike harmonies with the occasional well placed distortion over the voices. Each track contains interesting layered vocal parts and even the occasional usage of rounds, which create a pleasant sonic experience.
The instrumentals employ simple guitar lines, clear moving bass parts, and uncomplicated drums. Wuerker has a light touch with the synths which provide nice pops of color without overwhelming or overtaking anything. The guitar tones at times remind me of “1979” by the Smashing Pumpkins. They are crisp and clear with very light distortion.
Love Is Yours was teased with the singles “Love Is Yours” “I’m Better” and “Sideways.” On “I’m Better,” Mulitz and Baker open up about the challenges of living in our current culture: “Living is so hard lately, radiate the revelation through, and all of the answers escape me, indulge in every point of view.”
The track lengths range from a relatively brief 57 seconds to an average length of 3 to 3.5 minutes. The songs don’t overstay their welcome. They’re not indulgent. If there’s a guitar “solo,” it’s brief and quirky, advancing the overall sound rather than showboating the guitarist. This goes with the overall vibe of a simple record. And when I say “simple” regarding the music, I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. To make something simple that is also captivating can be even more difficult than creative something complex and progressive.
Overall, I would describe the album as pleasant. Not boring or redundant, but also not going to get your adrenaline flowing. A great soundtrack to sitting on the bank of a creek with your feet in the water on a warm, sunny afternoon. Love Is Yours is for fans of Best Coast, Cloud Nothings, and Surfer Blood.