The Blueflowers thoughtfully follow their own timeline.
The Detroit indie-rock sextet of Kate Hinote (vocals, lyrics), Erin Williams (backing vocals, keys, lyrics), Tony Hamera (guitar, synths), David Johnson (guitar), Bryan Talaski (bass) and Jim Faulkner (drums) chronicles pivotal moments of growth, heartbreak and change on their latest cathartic EP, Time Didn’t Matter.
“I certainly hope that people can relate to it and have that feeling,” Hinote said. “Any time you’re making music, you hope that people can react to it in some way, and I am considering that when I’m writing, but I also gotta get stuff out.”
As an emotional outlet, Time Didn’t Matter carefully opens the floodgates of past relationships, present circumstances and future possibilities. Six passionate tracks flow alongside introspective lyrics, fiery goth-rock instrumentation and ethereal shoegaze sensibilities.
“That’s just what kind of comes out … I’ve always written that way and still try to write in a way that can be interpreted,” Hinote said. “It’s a little vague, so that it can be left open to interpretation, and there are certainly some specific relationships that are addressed on this EP.”
Time Didn’t Matter
Inside their emotive Time Didn’t Matter journey, The Blueflowers vow to preserve a strong self-relationship on the hopeful opener, “Can’t Sit Out.” Pounding drums, sparkling cymbals, uplifting synths, adventurous bass and confident electric guitar inspire a life filled with ambition and opportunity.
Hinote sings, “A dozen times you tried/To see a life outside this story/You paint a picture, too/And frame it with a shot of glory.”
“It’s the idea of seeing something you’re after, whether it’s a person, an opportunity or whatever it is. It’s a feeling of like, ‘I have to do this, I can’t sit out from this … I’ve gotta give it a go. It’s required,’” she said.
“I feel like I’m that kind of person, too, where if I want to try something … I’m gonna give it everything that I’ve got. I try to display the most extreme feeling about it … the feeling that person has who can’t imagine not doing it, like there’s no alternative.”
After looking inward on “Can’t Sit Out,” The Blueflowers quickly shift to external relationships on the time-lapsed rocker, “Hearts Keep On.” Buzzy electric guitars, crunchy bass, thumping drums, ricocheting cymbals and radiant synths circle through life’s revolving door of friendships and collaborations.
Hinote sings, “Empty places/New and old faces/The same old song/Sounds different when you’re gone.”
“This was the first new song that was written for the EP, so we were all super-stoked about it. There are so many ways that this (song) ties everything together, and we didn’t even realize it until after the fact,” said Hinote, who co-wrote the lyrics to the track with Williams.
“I was struggling with something in particular, and I was talking with Erin (Williams) about it all the time. One day, she was like, ‘I just wrote this … I was thinking of you,’ and it was a big chunk of what ending up being ‘Hearts Keep On.’ It was kind of about my band relationships and how determined I am to keep going, but I was also struggling with a specific friendship that I had lost.”
The Blueflowers continue to search for closure on the fiery Time Didn’t Matter revenge anthem, “Your Only Enemy,” which boldly retaliates with determined electric guitar, eager synth, confrontational bass, explosive drums and smashing cymbals.
Hinote sings, “You stopped talking to me/And everyone else we see/You demanded repeat after me/She was the one creating misery/The one story you tell/Is the one where I left you in this hell.”
“‘Your Only Enemy’ was given to Erin (Williams) to write, and she came to me with her initial ideas. I ended up reworking the verse, but we worked together on the chorus. She also had this cool pre-chorus that almost made it more like a duet,” said Hinote, who’s inspired by Garbage and also fronts the Kate Hinote Trio.
“That one is about having a different story about what happened, like the two parties having just entirely different stories and both believing it. I love how that one came out.”
The Blueflowers slowly accept the demise of another relationship on the somber title track as hazy electric guitar, floaty synth, contemplative bass, thunderous drums and shimmery cymbals elicit disappointment and ambivalence.
Hinote sings, “Long sorry/A script I can’t believe/That you won’t try because I failed/Somebody told me that time didn’t matter/And I couldn’t relate.”
“This particular relationship was long, and I had some guilt about it, like that I wasn’t present enough. And I think there were resentments that weren’t relayed to me in a timely fashion. When it ended, it seemed to me like a shock, but when I started to think about it, I realized I had not been a part of this person’s life for a while,” she said.
“I had no idea, and time was just flying by, and I had not noticed how detached this person had become. There’s a theme of not knowing where the blame really lies, but I definitely took some of it.”
In Real Time
For their sixth release, The Blueflowers spent two months recording and finalizing Time Didn’t Matter’s six insightful tracks at Ferndale’s Tempermill Studio. Produced and engineered by Hamera, the EP beautifully documents the band’s ongoing Americana-to-indie-rock evolution.
“We became The Blueflowers because our prior project, Ether Aura, was so different from that, and we thought we needed to change bands. But honestly, that stuff is the foundation of The Blueflowers. It’s where we started, and I feel like we’ve kind of brought it back in,” said Hinote, who co-founded the band with husband Hamera in 2009.
“We changed to The Blueflowers because we had transitioned to Americana so much. There was a point during Relapse where we considered changing band names again. And I was like, ‘There’s no way. We’ve worked way too hard to build anything on this at all.’ It’s still us if it’s me singing and him playing guitar.”
Hinote also credits The Blueflowers’ evolving sound to bassist-songwriter Talaski, who recently joined the band. A longtime collaborator with Hamera and Hinote, he previously played live drums with Sound of Eleven and studio drums with Imperial Ruin.
“Bryan is really eager and excited about it. He’s really good and has a nice, solid rhythm. Bryan actually gave us a song, ‘My Amends,’ which he wrote in 1997. He said, ‘I’m just offering you this, do with it whatever you want,’” she said.
“We had to change the melody a lot because it was so low. I couldn’t sing it that low, and to sing it an octave higher, it was too high. I also wrote the second chorus. Twenty-five years later, Bryan and I collaborated on a song he wrote.”
Alongside Talaski, Hamera and her other Blueflowers bandmates, Hinote will perform several tracks from Time Didn’t Matter during tonight’s EP release show at Royal Oak’s Bowlero Lanes & Lounge. They’ll be joined by Detroit indie-rock band The Bruised Reed.
“We’re leaving one of the EP tracks out because we’re just not sure how it’s going to translate live, but we will play Time Didn’t Matter,” she said. “We’re trying to run the gamut of all our releases, and it’s a 15-song set. It will be a good long chunk.”
After tonight’s EP release party, The Blueflowers will perform Saturday, Aug. 13 at PLAV 10 for Hamtramck Music Fest.
“That’s all we have right now. I’m hoping we’ll play a couple of good shows in the fall,” Hinote said. “I’d like to go to Grand Rapids and some other places and let other people hear us.”
Friday, July 29 | 9 p.m.
Bowlero Lanes & Lounge, 4209 Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak