There are some instances in which a single strand of melodic ribbonry can communicate more without lyrics than it can with their company, but that’s not quite what transpires in the “Dangerous Love,” “Shadows,” and “Thinking Bout You,” the three songs comprising the new record from Kirsten Collins, Floura, which is out this spring everywhere quality indie pop music is sold and streamed. In this trio of tracks, Collins relies as much on straight lyrical sensibilities as she would on pop textures and melodicism of the most surreal variety to unfurl a narrative to her listeners, and though this isn’t the first occasion on which the acclaimed pop singer and songwriter has wowed the press and fans with her studio work, I don’t think I’ll be the only critic to say that this record is some of her best material yet.
“Shadows,” the most radio-oriented song on the extended play, is also the most mature that Collins has ever sounded within the studio in her career thus far, but I think it’s worth pointing out that this song doesn’t dwarf the creative depth of its two tracklist neighbors here at all. There’s a tremendous amount of flexibility to the framework of this composition, and as a theme throughout Floura, and though it could have been easily amplified to sound and feel like a larger-than-life demonstration of monolithic pop prowess, Collins approaches it with a minimalism-inspired attack that lets us enjoy all of its plodding virtuosities as they were meant to be consumed – in slow but meaningful movements.
I would be very interested in finding out how much of “Thinking Bout You” and “Dangerous Love” were born out of freestyling as opposed to the traditional writing sessions many of her closest rivals would engage in, as I think both of these tracks exude an unrehearsed style of play that, if she can replicate the format on stage, could lead to some really impressive live performances from this artist in the future. Even when she’s laying into as experimental a groove as she can from within the confines of four studio walls, Collins never sounds unfocused in her attack here, which is more than can be said for some of the most lauded players making headlines on the mainstream side of the dial this year.
If what I’m hearing in Floura is going to be on par with what we can expect to get out of future Kirsten Collins releases, then I would place a hefty wager on seeing her name in the spotlight a lot more often in the months and years that follow this record’s official arrival. Floura feels like a glimpse into a world of pop indulgence that has incredible potential to evolve into something bigger and bolder than any of us could expect it to, and with more disciplined efforts from Kirsten Collins in the future, I think she’s going to find herself a lot of success both in the scene that gave her a start as well as in an international underground market hungry for more from an artist of her high caliber.