I think I've mentioned before that I sometimes set expectations way too high when it comes to bands I like and new releases. I guess that's why when a band meets or exceeds my expectations with their new material that I get a little giddy about it, not unlike a small child with their new toy on Christmas morning. That's about how I'm feeling listening to the new Plume Giant album.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Plume Giant for an episode of Chip's Unnamed Local Band Show during the first season, right after the release of their debut EP. I can distinctly remember standing in their tiny New Haven apartment watching them perform a song for us and thinking to myself, 'damn this band has got worlds of potential.' Guess what. Their amazing amounts of songwriting potential have been resoundingly realized with their debut LP Callithump.
The album picks up where the EP left off with heaping helpings of old-timey flavored indie folk. But what struck me about this album is how well they've expanded on their sound. First and foremost, I'm not sure I've heard a band take literally 80 years of various forms of folk music and blend them so seamlessly into one cohesive, beautiful sound. There are moments on this album that would fit well in the backrooms of Prohibition era America, the coffee shops of the 40's and 50's where the first folk revival was born, right through to today's indie folk haunts. Horns, woodwinds, pedal steel and others accompany the band's guitars and fiddle but what really stands out with this band and on this album are the harmonies. The music gods were smiling upon all of us when these three Yale graduates serendipitously found one another. When their voices hit that sweet spot it's aural stimulation at its absolute finest.
The band draws from a deep, deep well of influences as varied as The Beatles and Bob Dylan to the Avett Brothers, the latter of which they would be the perfect opener for on their next tour. Fans of various modern day purveyors of indie folk such as Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Dr. Dog, The Decemberists, Okkervil River, etc. will find a lot to like about this album. Personally I've spent the last two weeks listening to it at least once a day and I don't expect that to stop any time soon...