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The Flumes (Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

Many people seek music for its mesmerizing qualities; to be hypnotized, submersed and ultimately lulled into its unpredictable wilderness. Ok, I’m no Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung but I know when I’m hypnotized and when I hear something I like. It’s not just because I want harper and vocalist Kayt Wallace of The Flumes to be my mommy – she’s hot as blue fire how she manipulates the electric harp into a sound that’s all her own gives The Flumes their hypnotic quality. She does for the electric harp what Jean Luc Ponty did for the electric violin adding wah and psychedelic textures to what is traditionally thought to be a more classical instrument. Wallace’s harp streams solid warmth seamlessly in a clean medley of folk and jazz and accompanied by her unique vocal delivery, weaving both subtle whispers and soulful flair, makes for an outstanding front woman.

Accompanying her are two bandmates Stephen Beattie taking up dual responsibilities on guitar and bass, and Elliot Gwynn on the drums. Tracks with Beattie on bass tend to have a jazzier feel with a focus on low end driving the mix through a series of groovy vibes as Wallace handles the melody. A master track “Firefly” features Beattie on acoustic rhythm guitar and shows the band’s overall flexibility to carry songs either by bass or no bass. Gwynn’s compatibility with her bandmates is like magic, fusing minimal yet steady rhythms holding it all together. While The Flumes’ brief recording history maintains only one EP, the five track Swell, it comes as no surprise that they’ve already gained some worthy attention, being named “highly commended,” on tracks one and five of that EP by the Queensland Music Awards. All we can say now is “We want more!”

The Music Initiative  

December 2012 | Winter Issue

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