Rich Soundscapes From Canadian Retro-Electro Band PLUM

by Ty Bennett

19th October, 2018

Photo by Michelle Homonylo

At a pivotal point in ‘Out of Love’ – the show-stopping single off Canadian retro-electro band, PLUM’s new EP – non-stop electric strings give way to quiet static and the echoing vocals of Rachel Kross. In this pinnacle moment, the sensuality of the song becomes apparent and it is transformed from synth 80s pop number to brooding summer time ballad.

‘Out of Love’ is the third track off PLUM’s recently released EP ‘D.R.I.P’ which is an instrumentally buoyant but lyrically dark series of tunes. ‘Scorpion Moon’ epitomises this feeling with gloriously layered instrumentals that would feel at home on an early Hippo Campus album, matched with lyrics that croon “I’ll drip blood for you.” ‘Out of Love’ follows this theme. It explores the melancholy of the end of summer and romance, set against a backdrop of throbbing rhythms, driving basslines and monophonic instrumentals. Rachel Kross’s ghostly, tenuous vocals hang in front of the tune like a finely spun web, as inviting as they are chilling.

The track opens with a moderate but ceaseless drum beat, that the whole song is built around. Its quality is not dissimilar to the unbroken guitar track on The 1975’s new single ‘Give Yourself A Try’; following an emerging production trend in incessant rhythms – which either drive you crazy or follow the tempo of your thoughts. But, as the choruses are comparatively instrumentally bare, ‘Out Of Love’ becomes a diverse and layered track that never gets too monotonous.

PLUM has composed a sound with a distinct 80s pop feel to it, that could also be compared to the dark sounds of Nick Cave, Alexandra Savior, and Lana Del Rey. The music video for ‘Out of Love’ is certainly reminiscent of Rey’s trademark scenes: a girl in dark glasses and fluttering dresses twirling into the backdrop from alternative camera angles. Indeed, PLUM’s music video features saturated shots, filled with light leaks and sound colours, of enigmatically dressed Rachel Kross in an 80s world. Theme parks, trailer parks, car parks, and diners are frequented by the moody singer. The music video does toe the line of cliché but manages to maintain a splenetic, nouveau attitude. Perhaps due to the impressive cinematography or the quality of the music being mirrored in the richness of the portrayed soundscapes. It feels right.

Stream ‘D.R.I.P

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