BEST OF 2016

MAGNET’s #25 Album Of 2016: Flock Of Dimes’ “If You See Me, Say Yes”


It’s tempting to view this Flock Of Dimes release party as the genre-neutral ground where Jenn Wasner’s worlds collide: the moody blues of Wye Oak and the sheer letting-go of Dungeonesse. And it could’ve been merely that. It ended up a gathering of her multiple musical personalities—a one-woman Traveling Wilburys, if you will, and you definitely should. Joni Mitchell, Christine McVie, Tracey Thorn and Annie Lennox join Wasner in this imaginary supergroup, with a dozen other contemporaries on hand as understudies: Joanna Newsom’s elemental sentiment (“Fill my arms with what I can carry”), Victoria Legrand’s lapping drones, Beth Orton’s hybrid tones. Just when you think you can see the calligraphic flourishes coming, Wasner unleashes a new, startling wake-up call, be it a timeless signature (on her declaration of independence, “Birthplace”), an overwhelming affirmation (carpe diem anthem “Everything Is Happening Today”) or a corporeal rave (pleasure-principled “Ida Glow”). She may only have this one body, but her spirit is an infinite spectrum in which the snarling guitar goddess we thought we knew is but a single shade.

—Noah Bonaparte Pais