Christmas Songs by Florent. Their debut release on Zang is a free Christmas EP featuring Deck the Halls, White Christmas and Carol of the Bells.
Florent's debut release is an audio version of a warm mince pie and a glass of mulled wine... Entitled Christmas Songs: The simplicity of the title reflects the unpretentious and fresh delivery of these much loved classics. This project, inspired by their penchant for music that conjures up some good old fashioned Christmas cheer is a welcome relief in this age of insincere, pop ballad, Christmas chart domination.
The stand out track in this collection is Carol of the Bells; a lesser known Christmas song (in the UK - they love it across the pond) usually performed in a very classical style. Most people over here will know it if they are Home Alone fans or if they have had the misfortune to have heard the Garmin Sat Nav adverts (give-a-give-a-give-a-give-a-Garmin) that penetrate the airwaves around this time of year. However, this unique interpretation of it gives us brooding verses with thick layered vocals that gradually crescendo into a satisfyingly raucous outro that releases the crashing drums and thrashing guitars.
The opening track is a sweet rendition of Deck the Halls (think Weezer meets Sufjan Stevens) complete with rich group backing vocals that create the impression of a caroling choir. White Christmas follows with a rolling snare rhythm and a up-beat bass line. Beach Boys-esc vocal harmonies enter for the second verse, showcasing Singer Rob Blakeney's talent in arranging and layering up intricate vocal harmonies.
The band itself is a three piece whose natural ease of collective creativity flows from a history of musical collaboration with one another on numerous projects. Having honed their recording and production skills working on other artists' creative projects over the years (through their independent record label: Zang Productions) Florent's material displays the birthing of a creative vision that has long been in incubation and it is the vision of 2 of the 3 main creative driving forces behind the Zang record label: Rob Blakeney (Vocals, guitar) and Kev Toms (Drums), and the addition of Gareth Gwyther on bass has added a consistency of like-minded creative input and camaraderie.