Monday, February 11, 2013

Pitstop: Plume Giant

I was so excited to see Kishi Bashi on his first NYC stop of the year that I pretty much forgot to check out his opener. It happens every once in awhile, mostly on purpose, where I'll deny myself any sort of prior listen so I can have my first experience be live. Brooklyn folk pop trio Plume Giant was definitely one of those bands I was glad I didn't check out ahead of time. 

Armed with incredible harmonizing talent and impressive jazzy vocal leanings, the real moment of wonder and awe happened about three or four songs into their set when Eliza Bagg and Oliver Hill whipped out a violin and viola seemingly out of nowhere. In addition to their incredible vocal talents, Plume Giant proved themselves skilled at the rather eclectic blend of instruments they brought: harmonium, keyboard, and guitars; in addition to the aforementioned strings. The trio sit right on the dividing line of folk rock and indie pop, pairing soul-stirring musical moments with explosive ear-catching embellishments and ornamentations. The wide majority of their songs seem like they very well could've gone a completely different direction than they often do and that's the fun. "B-Side Baby" starts off a delightfully understated lyric-led track before rising into a jubilant, raucous, almost asymmetrical rockier moment and finally settling in the middle ground.  

One of my favorite things about Plume Giant's performance was the rather unpredictable paths their songs would take. Rising furthermore when you think they'll come down, hitting notes you didn't expect but make so much sense after the fact. That night Plume Giant captivated and charmed, thrilled and excited. Exactly as a opener should. It's utterly exciting to be able to say a band is far better live than on record and Plume Giant is a perfect example of that. The theatricality of a narrative song like "Old Joe the Crow" perfectly fitting for an audience. 

If you have the chance to see Plume Giant live, I'd strongly recommend it but if you can't, their records are excellent placeholders. You can listen to them/buy them on Bandcamp

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