Flower Crown is a Pittsburgh dream-pop outfit whose album Sundries was released earlier this year to much acclaim. The band recently recorded a take of the song “Bender Szn” in an empty church in the South Hills.
One of the qualities of dream-pop/shoegaze music that draws people to the style with such cult-like adoration is its almost holy aura. The genres’ best bands use warped sonics, immersive sheets of guitar, and somnolent vocals to induce trancelike, euphoric states in their listeners; I’m in no way a religious person, but I’ve definitely seen God while listening to Ride’s “Dreams Burn Down” on a good pair of headphones. It’s only fitting, then, that Flower Crown, Pittsburgh’s resident dreamers/gazers, would play a set in an empty church. In this exalted setting, “Bender Szn,” a highlight of the band’s May 2019 release Sundries (Crafted Sounds), expands endlessly upward, floating among the pews, toward the rafters, and eventually into the stratosphere. The album version’s jangle becomes a full fledged cathedral bell chime (pun intended), ringing out amid a sea of reverb. Frontman Richie Colosimo relays lyrics about all-nighters and pills like a new age preacher delivering a blissed-out musical sermon, his exact words drowned out by the surrounding haze. Come on, come all, and worship at the church of Flower Crown.
Video directed by Ben Prisbylla