Local Wire

Trembling Blue Stars

The cover of The Seven Autumn Flowers, the sixth album by London's Trembling Blue Stars, features a watercolor painting of a yellow flower falling into a landscape of muted blues and grays -- there's a lake, and some dead trees, and a fogged-in mountain range towering in the background. Trembling chief Bobby Wratten (best known for his tenure leading the Field Mice, the U2 of English twee-pop) couldn't have chosen a more appropriate visualization of his music if he'd tried: Autumn is full of drab, see-through budget-indie settings -- chintzy keyboards, anemic guitars, tempos that could stand a switch from green tea to black coffee -- into which Wratten (or, more frequently, his co-singer Beth Arzy) drops just enough light to keep you interested. In opener "Helen Reddy," it's a tasty blast of quickly strummed fuzz-guitar; in "Moonlight on Snow," it's Arzy's dream-machine backing vocals; in "All Eternal Things," it's a reverbed keyboard wash and Cure-lite guitar line that give Wratten's sensitive-guy despair the ring of significance.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mikael Wood