Plants and Animals | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Plants and Animals

Back on Track

Jun 27, 2016 Plants and Animals Photography by Caroline Desilets Bookmark and Share

“This is an arrival album, not a transitional album.” To listen to frontman Warren Spicer explain where exactly Plants and Animals have landed on Waltzed in From the Rumbling is to hear of a land of creative freedom and newfound energy. It’s a land free from pressure and expectation. It’s a world apart from their previous album.

“The truth is that The End of That was not a particularly gratifying album to make or support,” says Spicer of their 2012-released third album. “Everything about it was rushed and uncared for. In the end, we felt trapped by it and it took everything we had in our hearts to get through it.”

Spicer didn’t detail the band’s specific battles, only referring to “personal turmoil and tragedies,” but after pushing through such difficulties, they found themselves at rock bottom.

“We found ourselves back home in Montréal without a record deal or a manager or any shows booked, but somehow we were more solid and together than we’d been in a very long time,” he says. “It felt like we had completed a cycle that began with Parc Avenue or even earlier. We had arrived and were somehow free.”

Parc Avenue was the debut full-length that brought Plants and Animals to the fore, earning the band’s first Polaris Music Prize nomination. La La Land followed two years later in 2010 and earned another Polaris nom along with further acclaim. After the rush job to make The End of That, Spicer and drummer Matthew Woodley allowed guitarist Nicolas Basque to set the creative toneone that emphasized process over results.

“We began recording with Nic’s mantra of, ‘If we don’t get anything from the session, that’s great!’” says Spicer. “It was probably some kind of reverse psychology because we ended up with great stuff. We continued like that until we had two albums’ worth of music, and then we spent a long time finding one album that we really loved.”

According to Spicer, there was no grand idea for Waltzed in From the Rumbling. If it was interesting, they pursued it. If it worked, they recorded it. If it fizzled, they’d start again. From “full-on James Bond orchestration” to recording with a “15-piece teenage Serbian marching band,” the band explored as they pleased.

“The time gave us more chances to record something special. It’s a lot like fishing, for me. Some sessions there are a lot of bites, sometimes none at all. If you’re in a rush when you’re fishing, it’s just terrible. You can’t enjoy the process. For us, we sound way better when we’re enjoying ourselves.“The initial glimpses from Waltzed provided evidence of Spicer’s claims. The unexpected electric build on “Stay” and the instrumental bouquet that blossoms on “No Worries Gonna Find Us” have served as perfect singles to showcase the sort of pleasant surprises placed throughout Waltzed. “We Were One” progresses from early Travis to recent Elbow while riding a Roots-esque drum lead. A heavy bass grounds the airy sing-along of “Pure Heart” before giving way to handclaps and conversation. All are unexpected turns that work as if they were obvious sonic choices.

Plants and Animals would certainly choose to forgo waging such a war in the future over their creative output, but the lessons learned have proven the journey’s value. Spicer and company are the better for it, with an album that should pick up where previously celebrated releases left off.

[Note: This article originally appeared in Under the Radar’s May/June 2016 Issue, which is out now. This is its debut online.]


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Grace Kelly
November 16th 2018

Plants and Animals bring up various subjects in their latest album, from the meaning of life to why ‘Interior landscaping’ is the appropriate term because indoor environments contain plains, angles, and horizons that are softened, accentuated or altered by the addition of plants and planters. For example indoor landscaping katy tx defines their field as restricted to plants within enclosed structures. Interior plantscaping is also a niche job that can thrust one into the corporate world of facility management, restaurants and offices.