Plantman is the solo outfit of Matthew Randall, formerly of Beatglider. His third album To The Lighthouse sounds instantly well-worn and lived in, like a small family house somewhere by a river in Mid-West America. Obviously, that’s a big compliment: this is some fine-feeling Americana songcraft. Released by Arlen.
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Awful true story: I bought the last Plantman CD on the strength of my own remarkably generous 9/10 review but have barely played it in my own home. I wondered if I made a mistake but here I am enjoying their follow up record so there must be something about this chair at work that makes their music the perfect soundtrack. They have a lazily spun acoustic sound and songs that ebb by slowly, never actually asking your attention but getting it anyway by way of haunting melodies and evocative lyrics.
There is much here to enjoy, 'Honeydew' is a particularly sweet lollop with nice backing vocals from Chantal Acda. There is more than a hint of Tindersticks here is the slow moving acoustic melodies and bookish sensibilities. If Plantman lack anything it's a bit of oomph. I'm sure with a bit of prodding they could write a neat pop song. They get close on the eerie 'Slow Design' with it's relative upbeat nature but in generally they are content to be slow and content all over our asses. On 'Spring Letter' they show off their abilities to wring haunting notes out of spangling guitars and a melody that sounds like it could have been written by Grant McLennan.
Plantman are a band of nice moments content to drift in your sub conscious. It's ambient guitar pop for lazy days and it means no harm.
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- To The Lighthouse by Plantman
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