When I was introduced to folk pop trio Plume Giant earlier this year when they opened for Kishi Bashi, one of the highlights of their set was when they unveiled a newly written song which was rather unlike the rest of their of vibrant, energetic tunes. It was down tempo, melancholic, highlighted just how well the three could harmonize with it each other, and was really one of those moments where you knew they were onto something special. Fun and good times are great but this was Plume Giant revealing their songwriting chops in remarkably intimate way.
Lo and behold that same song is the main featured track in Plume Giant's BreakThruRadio session. The track titled "Castalia" is simply stunning. A piano-heavy ballad with small violin flourishes, the instruments are all secondary to utterly captivating vocals. It's a wave of raw emotive force that manages to overwhelm in the best way possible. You can't be unaffected by it, nor should you want to.
And that's one of the most exciting things about Plume Giant. They're gifted instrumentalists and certainly have their pick of them to play but they never lose sight of the importance of vocals and seem to build their songs around the inclusion of the most arresting use of them. That's what we get in Plume Giant's BTR Live session: a series of new songs similar but not congruent in sound that all seem to rest a large portion of their accessibility on just how beautiful their vocals can be - whether together or alone.
The instruments they use might change but their power they grant their vocals only grows stronger.