Melissa Grey & David Morneau are composer-producers who design music informed by elemental themes: time, space, nature, language, dance. Their “wholly original” practice—described as “inventive,” “imaginative” and “a delightful romp through a completely unique sonic world”—is an ongoing collaborative exploration of sound through music. Their newly released, four-song EP, Always Becoming, was composed in collaboration with designer and musician Robert Kirkbride of studio ‘patafisico. Grey & Morneau have received awards from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts, and, in 2018, were the Joan C. Edwards Distinguished Professor(s) of the Arts, College of Arts and Media, School of Music, Marshall University, West Virginia. The go under the moniker, Flower Cat. This short sampler, weaves the colors of sunshine pop and dreampop with Robert Kirkbride’s harp-like guitars and Melissa Grey & David Morneau’s crystalline orchestration and signature seductive beats, wrapping the listener in a sonic tapestry of ever-shifting patterns, pulses and hues.
Complementing the music are nine hand drawings and an essay on humanity’s tilted view of seasonal cycles by Kirkbride, whose work explores the interplay of memory, ornament, and placemaking. You can view and download press releases and artwork, at www.flowercat.com The access will open Google Drive. The list of members and their involvement include: Robert Kirkbride (guitars), Melissa Grey (theremin, guitar feedback), David Morneau (trombone), composition by all band members as well as recording, sound design, programming, mixing and mastering and Foxmèr (paw percussion - I’m thinking this is a cat, or dog). Recorded and mixed at The Arches. Drawings were done by Kirkbride and digital composites by Morneau.
The first instrumental tune “Being” has a light and carefree style, soft sounding, mixing a bit of the magical and ambient with an indie pop melody. If you’re into soundscape type music, with lots of extra percussion, echoing acoustic and electric guitars and synth effects, I think you’ll enjoy this first track. Next is “Always” and it contrasts a gentle rhythm on the acoustic, atop some deep bass synth tones and “whirling” other sounds and electronic twists and turns. There seems to be more tension and complexity with the way this tune was written and performed. The next track “Ever” offers a fuller sound of the acoustic guitar, with a sparsely played electric lead on top, and lots of “blips, whacks and hits” from a variety of percussive effects. I think the last track, “Becoming” was perhaps my favorite. This song has more intensity to it, more directness. A fuller sound overall, with a more drum/percussion presence, strong acoustic melodies and “spacey sounding” synths. The breaks in-between where the drum and bass pulses drop out makes for a more dramatic and interesting track. This last tune also happens to be the longest of the four.
These tracks—“Being,” “Always,” “Ever” and “Becoming”—are designed to play in an endless loop. After listening to the four songs - I can understand that now. Although there are short breaks after one song ends and another begins, much like spaces between songs on vinyl, each song complements the other perfectly. If you’re familiar with radio shows such as Echoes and Hearts of Space, I think you’ll really enjoy this short but sweet EP, Always Becoming, from the project known as Flower Cat.