9 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The artists formerly of Prince & The Revolution deliver their first album since 1998’s Girl Brothers. Where that one found Wendy & Lisa veering further from dance pop, White Flags of Winter Chimneys finalizes the divorce, embracing gossamer songs reminiscent of 4AD’s This Mortal Coil. The title is a reference to Joni Mitchell’s 1976 epic Hejira and like that album, White Flags shares a pensive melancholia with lyrics musing on more dark and complicated aspects of the times. In “Balloon” Lisa sings about finding bliss in her balloon, a good fit for 21st century urban dwellers building bubbles around their lives to keep a safe distance from the troubled world outside. “Invisible” drives a bit faster with a pulsing beat, and when she sings “Shine like when you were mine” it’s hard to not take it as a nod to Prince. Speaking of references, “Salt & Cherries (MC5)” not only references the Motor City Five, but the guitars here rock hard in a Fred “Sonic” Smith like tribute. Conversely, the featherweight guitars on the title track strum and chime with pillowy softness before flirting with chorus-heavy ‘80s goth in the closing “Sweet Suite (Beginning At the End).”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The artists formerly of Prince & The Revolution deliver their first album since 1998’s Girl Brothers. Where that one found Wendy & Lisa veering further from dance pop, White Flags of Winter Chimneys finalizes the divorce, embracing gossamer songs reminiscent of 4AD’s This Mortal Coil. The title is a reference to Joni Mitchell’s 1976 epic Hejira and like that album, White Flags shares a pensive melancholia with lyrics musing on more dark and complicated aspects of the times. In “Balloon” Lisa sings about finding bliss in her balloon, a good fit for 21st century urban dwellers building bubbles around their lives to keep a safe distance from the troubled world outside. “Invisible” drives a bit faster with a pulsing beat, and when she sings “Shine like when you were mine” it’s hard to not take it as a nod to Prince. Speaking of references, “Salt & Cherries (MC5)” not only references the Motor City Five, but the guitars here rock hard in a Fred “Sonic” Smith like tribute. Conversely, the featherweight guitars on the title track strum and chime with pillowy softness before flirting with chorus-heavy ‘80s goth in the closing “Sweet Suite (Beginning At the End).”

TITLE TIME
4:20
4:57
3:54
4:04
4:07
4:48
2:55
4:10
8:41

About Wendy & Lisa

When Prince broke up the Revolution in 1986, guitarist Wendy Melvoin and keyboardist Lisa Coleman, friends since childhood, decided to team up for a new musical project. The two had grown up together in Los Angeles, where both of their fathers were session musicians and encouraged their musical development from a young age. Coleman joined the Revolution in 1979 for Dirty Mind, and Melvoin signed on in 1984; in addition to their instrumental skills, the two also provided some of Prince's arrangements. Wendy and Lisa played almost all of the instruments on their self-titled debut and co-wrote most of the material with ex-Revolution drummer Bobby Z. After backing Joni Mitchell on Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm in 1988, the duo added Melvoin's twin sister Susannah and recorded Fruit at the Bottom, a song cycle about the ups and downs of romance. Several more family members joined up for the widely varied Eroica, which mixed Wendy & Lisa's disparate influences (funk, jazz, dance, pop, rock); k.d. lang also contributed vocals. Eroica followed in 1990, and though the duo were less busy during the decade, they returned in 1998 as the Girl Bros. ~ Steve Huey

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