British Americana is a strange term, a bit of an oxymoron if you ask me, that is until you look at it from a slightly different angle. I tend to think of it a bit like the languages of the two countries themselves, separated a long way back and allowed to develop along their own different cultural lines, able to communicate, obviously connected yet carrying all the anomalies, traditions, influences and character of the home patch they grew up in.
And if Proudfoot’s previous album, Lincolnshire, was perfectly described as having its boots in Nashville but its head in the titular county of main man Michael Proudfoot’s birth, Flower of London is a much more English affair. Within the folky-country outer skin there is very much a beat band pulse and the lungs of a new wave pop act. And whilst the band tip their hats to the sounds of Music City, they weave a whole suit from very English influences, from Nick Lowe to Squeeze and pop templates that neatly accommodate soul, folk and reggae.
Six years is a long time between albums but the result is a slick and accomplished set of songs, a set that seems at once to openly wear its influences on its sleeve yet somehow skilfully blend them together and take them on new musical adventures. By the time the last notes are fading from earshot (and you are reaching over to give it another spin) you will realise that six years is a small price to pay for such a cracker of an album.