Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Plumerai / The Brother Kite split on Claire / Darushka-4 Records

Plumerai and The Brother Kite offer up a novel approach to delivering entirely unique exclusive material with this split single released a few years back. Both bands are based in the northeast and their latest material these days is dense, heavily produced pop but for this single both bands agreed to strip down to nothing but raw simple instrumentation to see where the songwriting would land.

Plumerai's contribution "Vacant Eyes" is a minimal track of a deliberate, solo electric, turned up loud the hardly plucked strings separate out in their own melody, naked in the middle of this silence. Elizabeth Ezell on vocals brings heavy emotion to the table in that pleading St. Vincent's quivering, near breaking down vocal. She's just as deliberate as that instrumentation and places phrases between notes creaking alongside this electric that threatens to stop itself at any moment. There's a quieter vocal behind her pleading and bells are softly struck with fur mallets so as not to break the spell of this intimate confession. A plaintive violin and organ slowly build in this Owen Pallet inspired arrangement to an epic plateau of a folk backyard Bowerbirds orchestra. They work with the negative space here, the hardly sung track of Elizabeth's vocal against nothing but a few notes one after another while the instrumentation waits in the wings to do some breaking down of it's own. If you're already in a mood, do yourself a favor and pour the alcohol down the sink.

The B-Side finds The Brother Kite stripped down on "We Can Never Be Friends". It's smooth country southern rock track with acoustic strums and Patrick's Michael Stipe style vocal in a bright echo bright echo chamber. They launch into storytelling mode, a clear nostalgic heartland radio number that if the title was any indication isn't going to leave you happy about the outcome. Reminds me of the potential of the Shins and their harmonic pop songwriting or you could actually go further back to Steven Stills, it's got all the attitude as those classic templates.

Get it from Plumerai's bandcamp page, an edition of 500 on coke bottle clear vinyl.

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