Serial collaborator docks Destroyer for ?owery record with lady friend.
Considering Dan Bejar’s accomplished output in other ensembles, it’s no shock that the Destroyer/New Pornographer/Swan Laker sounds content as an assistant groundskeeper for new project Hello, Blue Roses. Plus, his chanteuse girlfriend Sydney Vermont is the real driving force behind Hello Blue Roses’ accumulation of chamber folk and off-kilter pop. Deftly oscillating between nods to Vashti Bunyan’s eclectic folkways and Natalie Merchant’s most alt.country moments, Vermont’s madrigal-sweet voice is the album’s unifying ?ngerprint. But there’s still enough of Bejar’s craggly tenor and distorted guitar circulating in the background to solidify the project as a nearly equal collaboration. Bolstered by a minimal bass-drum beat—an anomaly here—and some ?ourishes of keyboard, “Shadow Falls” shows how engaging this vocal twosome can be. On a more nauseating note, the sappy piano ballad “Sunny Skies” intimates that Vermont and Bejar sometimes get too lost in the glint of each other’s eyes.