Tomato Flower is the result of long-lasting friendships and overlapping collaborations that found Austyn Wohlers, Mike Alfieri, and Jamison Murphy (and later adding bassist Ruby Mars) looking for the balance between taut guitars and experimental pop music. The Baltimore-based quartet melds irresistible melodies with rhythmic trickery and unexpected structures, bending genre at will. Math rock, dub, and bossa might flash by well before the outro. Formal constraint becomes an opportunity for play and surprise; the pop form becomes a psychedelic capsule.
Their debut EP, Gold Arc, finds the Baltimore quartet playing with tension between sweetness and destructive heaviness. Conceptually, Gold Arc hungers for an alternate reality, a sustainable paradise, and the desire to be loved constantly. They turn that utopian impulse towards the worldly on the follow-up release, Construction. A companion to Gold Arc recorded in the same time period, this set of dense, knotted pop songs are intricate constructions of their own. The music evokes something sculptural, reflecting the painstaking social processes of material transformation that create physical objects, or coalesces as a monumental abstraction cutting into the skyline.