Jay Pollock serves up his next course with Sunflower

Jay Pollock knows how to sell a story, and his is one comprised of coffee, gin and tonic, and insomnia. I'm twisted, he professes. His bassist, Ben Huband, is a "legally blind, nude model" and his drummer, Lowell Whitty is a jazz musician. This ragtag trio had a 10-month residency at Toronto's Cameron House last year and recently released a self-produced sophomore album, Sunflower, on July 10th. With absurdist lyrics, the record picks up where Pollock left off with debut Creepy Dinner Music (2010).

Carrying funk, Latino, and rock influences, the mostly folk and acoustic Sunflower is evenly peppered with odd and sparkling moments. "Twinkle, twinkle little starving artist," he sings, tongue-in-cheek on "Starving Artist." The album's title lyric is drawled out vocally into a syncopated bass groove on "Sunflower," which also features a solid instrumental bridge.

I was most intrigued by "Bellwoods," which initially appeared as a titular tribute to the city's Trinity Bellwoods Park. On the contrary, Pollock spews the most unrelated thoughts over a walking bass line; "'cause if the well dries out / why pray for rain / desert your dessert" seems to have little to do with the scenic glade. Charmé.

Ultimately, Sunflower is still dinner music, the sort that is best-suited for Wednesday night live music at the neighbourhood pub, soundly pre-recorded for your convenience.