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Photo by Caroline Desilets.

CITYFOLK: Plants and Animals give themselves room to grow

By Christine Seguin on September 13, 2016

It’s that time of year again, folkies. That time when we pray for clear skies and gather outdoors one last time to celebrate, and to discuss what constitutes folk music.

“We have gotten back to what we used to be as a band”

Among these discussions, Plants and Animals will be taking stage at CityFolk on Thursday September 15th in support of their latest release, Waltzed In From the Rumbling. Based out of Montreal but hailing from the East Coast, the band has been playing together over a decade, releasing four albums and two EPs, and touring the world mercilessly.

The title of their fourth album, Waltzed In From the Rumbling, evokes a sort of languid return from a frantic state. Their previous album, The End of That, released in 2012 was a procedural departure from their earlier work, with most of the album developed in advance of its recording. This time around, they took their time, recording their album close to home, spending hours in the studio improvising, playing with sound, stream of consciousness and song structure. Throughout the course of the two years it took to record the album, the band lived through the loss of loved ones, the births of children and a shift in management. Waltzed In is the result of a band taking a break, experiencing the love and loss of life and getting to sleep in their own damned beds for a while.

The breath and space that was afforded to the band is evident in the album’s recording, which has already invited at least one comparison to Radiohead (because, of course). Listening to the songs you kind of get this second hand delight at the freedom they had to create and the space they had to move and play. This freedom is asserted by declaring “No worries gonna find us, no worries gonna be the boss of my mind.” The album is endowed with production and blessed with the imperfections that come with the freedom to be fully expressive.

“We have gotten back to what we used to be as a band”, said Warren Spicer. The album is inventive and experimental, borrowing sounds from everyday life such as the sounds of girls chatting on the bus and the buzz of a fridge. “We gave ourselves the space and time to be creative and play around with different sounds and ideas. There are eleven songs on the album but there are about forty more that we worked on. The studio was more like an art studio than a recording studio.”

The album, like their others was released on Secret City Records. A quintessentially Canadian label who just celebrated their tenth anniversary. “They are a great label, which allows their artists to truly be themselves. I really appreciate all the artists on the label. You by virtue of them being on the label you know you are going to respect the artist. Their roster is one of musicians’ musicians.”

Hearing the tracks from Waltzed In From the Rumbling live on Thursday will certainly be a beautiful lesson in where creativity can go when you’ve got the room to express it. Head to the Ravenlaw stage, raise your arms up and take your space to dance to the music.

Plants and Animals play Cityfolk Thursday September 15th, 10:30 pm to 11:30 pm. For more on Cityfolk or for tickets, visit their website.

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