Plantman – Whispering Trees
Close your eyes during Plantman’s debut album and you’ll be transported back to an era of pre-Britpop Indie. Given Matt Randall’s (AKA Plantman) love of Go-Betweens, Sebadoh and Durutti Column, it’s hardly surprising his debut LP sounds like it’s been pulled straight out of the NME’s fabled C86 mixtape. But in a time where over-production thrives, there’s a refreshing lack of polish to this unhurried affair.
Although there’s little instant gratification to be found, tracks like the shimmering Away With The Sun and picturesque Stickman are quiet, unassuming earworms worthy of gradual pursuit. Equally impressive is the title track’s haze of trebly, mid-paced guitars and the ghostly chords of album highpoint Lunaria, both of which bare uncanny resemblance to Lou Barlow at his most introspective. At 15 tracks long, Whispering Trees could benefit from a little fat trimming, but this is still a fine reminder of uncomplicated times. [Billy Hamilton]