Album Review: The Flowerpot Sessions

As soon as you hear that this album is a Communion album, you know its gonna be good. And when you see it features the likes of Lissie, Angus and Julia Stone, Marcus Foster and Treetop Flyers collaborating, you know its gonna be great.

The Flowerpot Sessions was recorded in the Summer of 2010 in the Flowerpot Cafe in Kentish town, which is now closed. For 1 week, the cafe was taken over by Communion, each night featuring collaborative performances from some of Communion’s favorite artists. The results of this week were recorded live and make up this two disc record. The record features a large variety of artists, from wonderful songwriters such as Alan Pownall, Beans on Toast and Pete Roe, to striking voices from Marcus Foster, Kyla La Grange and Lissie, to velvet harmonies from Treetop Flyers and The Staves, and a large influence from Aussie artists such as Angus and Julia Stone, Sarah Blasko and Passenger. The album also includes a Grease cover of ‘Your the One that I want’ from Damien Rice and Angus & Julia Stone, plus tracks from Matthew and the Atlas and Mt. Desolation among others.

This record is filled with highlights, new bands ripe for discovery, and collaborations made in heaven. Treetop Flyers are one of the newer bands on the record but their track ‘It’s About Time’ is easily a highlight of the record, showing off how tight they are live and the wonderful harmonies and songwriting of the band. The voices of Sarah Blasko and Julia Stone stand out, particularly when blended on the collaborative track ‘To Let Go’. ‘Hands to Hold’, a Kyla La Grange song which also features Marcus Foster and Matthew & the Atlas is a great number, Kyla’s quirky pop voice stands out amongst the mellow folky ones in the tracks which surround it. ‘Mexico’ by The Staves was the first track on the record I fell in love with, the harmonies are beautiful, and the mixture of ethereal and sweetness works very nicely Marcus Foster’s track ‘Movement’ featuring Ryan O’Reilly Band, Kyla La Grange, Chris Maas and Kevin Jones is one of my personal favorites from the record, and ends the first disc perfectly. Tom McKean & The Emperors play a cover of ‘Old Fashioned Morphine’ which is a wonderful addition to the record and the vocals of Tom McKean with his Johnny Cash-esque range is a particular highlight. ‘Beneath the Sea’ is in true Matthew & the Atlas style, really great. The last track ‘Little Eyes’ sounds a little like a pirate song, a little crazy and a lot of fun.

Overall, the record is a wonderful listen, but whats truly lovely about it, is how much is reflects the atmosphere and true spirit of Communion gigs. I hope lots of people will listen to this album and consequently go down to a gig, or pick up a record from a little known band like The Staves, Treetop Flyers and Pete Roe and learn to love this community of music which so many people already have.

Rating: 4.5/5

Best Tracks: ‘It’s About Time’ Treetop Flyers

‘Movement’ Marcus Foster

‘Mexico’ The Staves

‘Old Fashioned Morphine’ Tom McKean & the Emperors

‘To Let Go’ Angus & Julia Stone and Sarah Blasko

‘Oh Mississipi’ Lissie and Mt. Desolation

The Flowerpot Sessions will be released on May 30th, through Communion Records. It will be available on Double CD, Double Vinyl, download, and a special edition with bonus disc and extra DVD.

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