words: Gordon Phillips
“How Can I,” the latest single off Plastic Flowers’ upcoming record, Absent Forever, opens with a shimmering arpeggio of chorus-laden electric guitar in a descending loop over minimalist gated digital drums. George Samaras, the London- based multi-instrumentalist behind Plastic Flowers, deploys a heavily processed, robotic murmur that that comes across more exhaled than actually sung in distant and detached stanzas.
The song structure is simple and immediately gratifying, a core tenant of the 1980’s pop from which Samaras likely draws significant influence. As soon as the verse concludes, auxiliary percussion clicks and whirrs under the searing distorted lead guitar line that prominently offsets the wistful verse passages. “How Can I” closes with Samaras doubling down on the same sonically decimated electric lead tone as before, this time exploring a number of melodic variations and intertwining counterpoints.
While not necessarily pushing the outer boundaries of genre experimentation, Samaras has created an accessible and catchy pop song that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Drive original soundtrack or pumping through the house speakers at skating rinks long abandoned.
Plastic Flowers is releasing Absent Forever, via New York City’s The Native Sound (Drowse, Surf Rock is Dead and Andrew Koji Shiraki) on November 10. The album is available for preorder here.