Plants and Animals Craft Sharp, Beautiful Indie-Pop On ‘Waltzed In From The Rumbling’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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plantsandanimalsMontreal-based Plants and Animals have been together in some form or another for the past fifteen years. The indie-pop trio is comprised of guitarist-vocalists Warren Spicer, multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Nic Basque and drummer-vocalist Matthew Woody Woodley. With their fourth release Waltzed In From The Rumbling, Plants and Animals have created a hauntingly beautiful album.

The album opens up with “We Were One”, which is a stylistically rambling song that acts as almost an overture for everything that comes after it. Instrumentation changes throughout from piano and guitars, to sitar-effected guitar licks, all with a shuffling drum beat that glues it all together. The track “No Worries Gonna Find Us” continues in a similar vein with heavily reverbed guitar playing over a string section and another shuffling drum beat underpinning the Warren Spicer oft sang chorus of, “No worries, no worries, no worries gonna find us / no worries gonna be the boss of my mind.” These lyrics take on a deeper meaning for lead vocalist Spicer as he wrote them to help him deal with his OCD.

The first single released from the album is “Stay”, which starts off with a single voice singing verses over a lone acoustic guitar for the first minute. However, before the minute is up the minimalist verse is joined with a slew of instrumentation and the rest of the song becomes a mostly instrumental jam with the lyrics “Look inside your heat” sung variably throughout.

“Je voulais te dire” (Translates as: I wanted to tell you) is one of the most impressive tunes on the album. Clocking in at seven minutes, it has that epic feeling of combining many different songs together to tell a story. It begins with horns, piano, a finger-picked acoustic, subdued drumming and melancholy vocals singing “It’s only love/but you want it back”. As synths and strings start weaving in and out, a woman’s vocal joins in to sing a haunting melody. The last half is mostly up beat before ending with intertwining vocals singing over each other.

While Plants and Animals don’t drastically change their style on this album, the maturity of their songwriting is at its best. The amount of sound that they put into each song is also impressive as they are only a three-piece.

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