The distinctive material of five-piece Melbourne band Dear Plastic is an exposé of the inner workings of a mind. The music is a chaotic journey, one that concludes with meditative thinking as the band explore the trip towards isolation and back, in tracks which question the audience as much as they provide answers.
Apocalyptic trip-hop, have you heard it before? We hadn’t until now. Dear Plastic are making some seriously special art.
The combination of technology and analogue instrumentation delivers a sound which creates a natural timbre. Dear Plastic create music which has an urgent immediacy, while the extended electronics provide the sounds of complexity. Despite the plethora of gadgets at hand, the band doesn’t over-complicate it – they successfully create music which percolates smoothly into the ears.
Everything’s Coming Up Roses showcases the synth work creating an almost sci-fi like space that could almost accompany an apocalyptic landscape. This dark and epic space is where Dear Plastic sit with most of their music. Fragmented piano notes are the scaffolding for a song that crescendos in an almost modest fashion, fusing layer upon layer without ever crashing down into a mess of chaotic noise.
The distance in which Dear Plastic holds the listener at could be something mistaken for vacuity or emptiness. Scarlette Baccini’s vocals are at times blurred and absent, like a striptease seen through someone else’s prescription glasses.
Although in my favourite track, Common Ground, Baccini’s voice haunts the music that drones beneath, maliciously observing the world around her, “hey did you know that everyone that has ever existed is completely disposable” and the futility of relationships, “yeah we can pretend that we knew each other all along, I’ve been keeping secrets from you, oh and they’re good ones too”.
There is the maxim that art is meant to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable. I think the latter might be true in the case of this band. The enigmatic theatrics and ostentatious ebbs and flows of this trip hop piece make Dear Plastic an awakening for those courageous enough to let it penetrate.
Dear Plastic, even in such an early point in their career, have stumbled upon the wonderful ability to create music that, while it may be complex, feels simple and thus does not weigh us down. The five-piece should be commended for their brilliance in conveying both depth and sincerity which are attributes that can so frequently be missing in the world of trip-hop.
If you dig Bjork or Radiohead, be sure to check these guys out.
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