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(35:04; Nefarious Industries)
Born in a squat in England, raised in New Zealand, and presently residing in Melbourne, here we have the latest release from dream folk artist Plum Green. I have not previously come across any of her other albums, but somehow, I can see I need to undertake some investigations as this is a very special album indeed. Her wonderful vocals are at the forefront of everything she does, often accompanied by her acoustic guitar, yet the vocals are often multi-layered and there are bowed soundscapes which makes for an arrangement with everything channelling her vocals. A variety of different instruments are featured including classical strings and the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, (apparently the largest musical instrument in the Southern Hemisphere it says here). As soon as I heard this, I was taken back to Talitha Rise and her incredible album, An Abandoned Orchid House, as this has a similar approach, with the clarity of vocals giving us a feeling of fragility, yet the accompaniment has wonderful strength and depth. This is music which must never be played in a car or while operating heavy machinery, as it transports the listener to a different plane and existence, and when it ends there is a real feeling of loss while the listener comes to terms that the journey is over, and we are back to normality. Over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to come across some incredible singers, and I never cease to be amazed (and angry) at how much incredible talent is ignored by the mainstream media. In a fair world we would all be shouting about this album, Plum Green would be featured on TV and radio, but we all know the world we live in is not fair and musical ability and talent does not mean success. This is an incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking album, which lifts us away from the mundane, and helps us understand the world in a totally different manner. No percussion, and often no bass, the different layers of vocals, acoustic guitar, and soundscapes combine to produce something which is simply exceptional. Let us hope that Melbourne soon manages to come out of the horror of Covid (they will soon take the record for the longest lockdown anywhere in the world), and that we see Plum Green and guitarist Daniel Cross back over here playing again, as that promises to be a very special event indeed. To be played on headphones when one has the time to listen, really listen, and for the normal world to just pass on by.
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