Nothing is better than when a band exceeds one's expectations. Flotilla has been much touted around Exclaim and CBC... so my immediate response is always a one-eyebrow raised, "Impress me." That eyebrow dropped in less than two phrases of the first song performed, when they more than live up to the generous praise heaped on them. How lucky am I to catch them at this fairly intimate CD launch.
This sweet little local band is every inch bathed in that Montreal ethos that keeps on creating these amazing independent outfits. First off, they have the requisite atypical instrument, in this case, a concert harp. Second off, they seem to have that power mix of Franco-Anglo talent. Thirdly, they come off as mild mannered sorts whose "this is who we are" gentleness is disarming and charming. Fourthly, and most importantly, they make music you want to listen to again and again and again. Moody, surprising, and never pressing into discomfort as a means to evoke a wow! factor.
I liked their balance of softness and speed, the reflective and introspection of the lyrics, and just that lack of pretense and ego. Music that tends to be so sentiment driven or emotionally evocative is often a shade boring. However, this was NOT the case. NO NO NO NO NO. This band had me seduced and I walked out of this show a convert to the cause. Eyes out and ears up for Flotilla who seems to have stayed subsurface but will surely make big waves with their new album One Hundred Words for Water.