Thelma Plum is a vivid and nurturing story teller. Her songs aren’t just a refuge for those who have a broken heart, they embody the beating heart as it shatters before our very eyes. It is forced to piece itself back together in front of a crowd of endless wanders while maintaining humility and composure, at a time where self-destruction seems like the better escape.
Thelma takes us across hostile desert terrains to cityscapes of bright lights and pouring rain, to assure us that this pain and suffering will surely be over soon enough and your ventures across the globe won’t remind you of him or her anymore.
How can a four track EP be so robust, filled with strings, synths, jangle rock, and outpour of emotions? Thelma Plum, what a grand collection of songs.
Her sophomore EP Monsters is filled with genuine and pure lyricism, detailing a seemingly unbreakable love and how it all came crashing down in one epic showdown. Nothing is off the table. Her voice alone is much to be desired- her gentle vibrato, her folky English accent, her tone is mature yet youthful and bound in warmth. It remains inspiring that no matter how petite and delicate her voice may seem on its own, it permeates through everything it comes in contact with- like an aura that confronts everyone, but also consumes the disdain of it’s surrounding.
Thelma has moved away ( who knows if just for now or forever) from her acoustic folk sound to experiment with the endless possibilities that the palette of electronia serves you- The Monster EP is four tracks of epic electronic folk to help breathe life into that lifeless soul- too weak to stand on it’s own two feet. In this EP she collaborates with beat smith M-Phazes ( Kimbra, Eminem) so you can’t expect anything anything less than glorious. Various elements of Thelma’s music may remind you of Chvurches or Lorde.
The opening track Monsters feels like something from Romeo and Juliet- a tragically beautiful tale of a fragile love in a predestined relationship, thwarted by haunting ‘monsters’ that linger and ruin efforts to protect each other. Perhaps star-crossed lovers or a guardian angel that wishes to stay for the long-haul and love you for who you are- you and all our demons within. Imagine a montage of every heart-rending love film you have ever seen and play this song in the background- I dare you not to feel something.
Young In Love is a bluesy and hypnotic song that speaks the truth about the moment you realise your fantasies and dreams with this person are simply no more. This person from the start has had a temperamental nature, making you lose trust in them. Your gut knew all along that things wouldn’t be forever, but you held on, refusing to give in. The industrial slapping of beats and flurry of strings make for the perfect combination of fear and desire.
Now this pick me up track, How Much Does Your Love Cost? opens with the jangle of an Ennio Morricone western score- remember that desert terrain I was talking about? The cataclysmic chorus of strings and synths summoned up with Thelma’s vocals who remain front and centre throughout, makes this track so cinematic. The insistent clapping and pounding percussion reminds me of guns firing in those western movies- coincidence? I think not! Now how much does love cost? Well from the sounds of this song it’s facing one heavy penalty for whatever went wrong. How Much Does Your Love Cost? was mixed by Eric J Dobowsky (Chet Faker, Flight Facilities) so you know it’s in good company.
And now we conclude with Candles (another tear-jerker). This track marries together synths and strings (again but we can’t get enough of it!) and it is stunning. Thelma’s echoing vocals drown out in the pool of sorrowful tears, shed in the expanse of this song – heavenly bitter. Now I don’t know about you ( I’m happy to hear your suggestions, perhaps Thelma you can help clarify this) but what is that imminent crackle/ short-lived ringing that rocks back and forth from ear to ear? Whatever it is, it’s symbolic of the magnetising attraction of love and how you are drawn together despite every heartache you endure …it does sound like a magnet but how? So many answers revealed in this EP, yet so many still unanswered, like when is she releasing more music!
Catch her on her EP tour. You know you want to, you know you need to, so give in!
Thursday 30th Oct- The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 31st Oct- Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 1st Nov- Transit Baro, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 2nd Nov- Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul, NSW
Friday 7th Nov – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Saturday 8th Nov- Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 9th Nov- Beavs Bar, Geelong, VIC
Friday 14th Nov- Players Bar, Mandurah, WA
Saturday 15th Nov- Amplifier, Perth, WA
Sunday 16th Nov- Newport Hotel, Fremantle, WA
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