EP Premiere: Plums—’EP 02′
Posted: by The Editor
Plums emerged at the peak of the surf-psych revival, dropping a well-received EP, Jen, in 2015 that bobbed between Mac DeMarco balladry and Surfer Blood sand-kicking. Despite their Boston origins, their West Coast posery was forgiven because of how well they wore the sleeve. Listening back today, at a time when grayscale, emo-adjacent indie rock garners more interest than anything with “surf” in its Bandcamp tags, the reverb-horny Jen still competes with some of its recent successors. However, Plums’ by all counts dramatic return, EP 02, which we’re premiering below, is a for-broke dunk in the waters of Tame Impala maximalism. It’s colorful, kooky, catchy, and cocky without having to wave it around too much. The songs, which there are only four of, speak for themselves.
Opener “Panorama” is indeed a wide-angle shot of what the quartet squeeze into the 15-minute tracklist. A bright guitar riff doused in trembling delay, a funky-ass bassline, smoldering horn blasts, kit-tickling drum fills, and a celestial falsetto that’s leaning over to high-five a crowd of whooping partygoers. It’s a rager of a track that instantly plucks Plums from their lo-fi contemporaries and drops them on a hypothetical bill with prime-era MGMT.
The very Currents-esque “Wendy” that follows is speckled with Queen theatrics, which they pull back on “Evel” in favor of their best T. Rex impression (it’s a good one). However, closer “Batman” is when they dial up Freddy Mercury and The Delfonics at the same time, coalescing into this transcendental mixture of blue-eyed soul and showtunesy psych-pop. It’s a cloud-scraping number stuffed with rich textures that sound like a year’s worth of studio finessing. The rigor pays off.
It almost feels heinous to say this in the era of overstuffed wannabe event albums, but EP 02‘s only shortcoming is its, perhaps intentional, desire to be lengthened. Plums left fans waiting three years for this, but its splendor makes the hold-out worth it. Maybe hook-dangling is their game. They’re pretty damn good at it.
Stream EP 02 in full below:
EP 02 is out Friday 9/7 via Forged Artifacts.
Eli Enis | @eli_enis
The Alternative is ad-free and 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us produce more content and promote more great new music, please consider donating to our Patreon page, which also allows you to receive sweet perks like free albums and The Alternative merch.