Plantman - Whispering Trees
“I’ve never had the Midas touch / But I love you and I’m in no rush”, the opening words on ‘Widescreen Heart’, might well be taken as the credo of Plantman, a.k.a. Matt Randall’s approach to music. These songs are delicate and unrushed compositionally, engaging and warm despite the dominant contemplative and melancholy tone of his Modern Lovers via. Elliott Smith indie-pop sound, but the songs often lack anything remarkable, or if we’re sticking with his analogy - golden.
Tracks like ‘Doves Tail’ and ‘Vini’ are gorgeous - his mumbling delivery on the former perfectly matching the soporific thrum of the guitar and the gently shuddering drums, whilst the latter’s closing riff threatens to break into a moment transcendence - yet both run out of steam, rather than developing into something essential, instead caught in a cycle of repetition and petering out. Indeed, despite his apparent approach to song-writing this becomes a frustrating habit, and Randall appears to be nervous about overstaying his welcome, only once straying beyond the four-minute mark. Consequently, this brevity works against the leisurely composition, leading to a bizarre sensation of an excess air within tight parameters, and ultimately culminates in the impression of a record possessing immense listen-ability - but frustrated by a lack of potency.