In our bountiful age of music streaming, where your options include pretty much any song in recorded history, first impressions matter more than ever. So why aren’t more bands introducing themselves with the clarity and immediacy of Wildflower? The Peaks Island quintet has picked a band name that perfectly captures its aesthetic – gentle, swaying psych-country ballads that sound like they sprouted up, fully formed, in the middle of a golden meadow. The first track on its debut LP is also called “Wildflower,” and opens with the lines, “Wildflower on the shore / Feeling free and easy and wild.” One minute in, and we know this band, much like we knew Motörhead a minute into “Motörhead.” It’s a group of musicians trying to capture the serenity of a specific kind of Laurel Canyon existence – spontaneous, beach-stoned adventures that are hard to pull off if you don’t have a trust fund. Singer and guitarist Adrian O’Barr regales us with stories of people abandoning their structured lives and going where the wind takes them – to California, France, Ireland. This casual globetrotting would be annoying if Wildflower didn’t capture this vibe so incandescently. The crystal-clear, distortion-free guitar work of Alex Winthrop and O’Barr makes the latter’s 1970 Neil Young warble sound absolutely innocent, like someone who’s just fallen in love for the first time on a Ferris wheel by the ocean. “We’ll never work again / And we’ll run our money down / And we’ll lay in the grass until we’re found,” O’Barr sings. He’s willing to give up absolutely everything for his day in the sun. And he sounds so relaxed about it, we believe him.
— Joe Sweeney
Wildflower plays The Apohadion Theater on June 25.