The Book of Flowers is a new project from singer/songwriter and DKA co-founder J.A. Ford. Ford’s work with the EBM/synthpop project Tifaret featured on the first and second volumes of the DKA label compilations Strategies Against the Body. With a sound akin to Nick Cave, Magnetic Fields, Current 93, Young Marble Giants, Depeche Mode, and Bauhaus, the new album is unsettling and eerie.
The Book of Flowers’ debut album Pastels draws from Ford’s love of acid folk, mellotrons, and modular synthesizers to create a shifting tapestry of sounds. Ford envisioned the album as feeling pastoral yet menacing, exploring themes of the supernatural and the strange, as well as the natural and sensual.
Ford struggled writing songs for a proposed full-length Tifaret record, and felt unable to fully express himself through traditional sequencer-based electronic music. During lockdown, Ford taught himself acoustic guitar fingerpicking and focused on more traditional songwriting forms present in American folk and country music.
Pastels was recorded in Fall 2021 in Ford’s home studio, taking inspiration from British folklore and horror films such as The Wicker Man and Midsommar. It features Ford stretching out beyond the confines of Tifaret to incorporate elements of psychedelia, dream pop, post-punk, and Krautrock.
“The White Dress” is a strange mashup of robotic Kraftwerkian beats with whispering Nick Cave-like vocals, hypnotic and slightly sinister. “The Housewitch” takes Cave’s style into a more gentle folk soundscape; melodic and melancholy. It’s also got a 60s space-age flair to it, moving into early 2000s Beck territory, particularly Mutations. A beautiful glimpse at a promising collection.
Listen to the “The Housewitch” and “The White Dress” below:
The Book of Flowers’ Pastels is out September 30, 2022