Image for Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals

Written by Thomas Mitchell on May 6, 2009

Canada gave us Michael Buble but we can forgive and forget. While Buble crooned his way into elderly underwear everywhere, three musicians were actually working on something decent.

Plants and Animals are a three-piece straight outta Montreal. Which is less impressive then Compton, but upon hearing their music geography becomes unimportant.

It’s atmospheric, empty, exciting, but you don’t know why, kind of like Canada itself. As we listen to the album I find myself infected by the chaotic variations and begin to lose my mind, slowly, deliciously. Matt whispers in my ear the secrets to the music he makes.

“The core of the sound on the record is always us three playing music, we just choose to take the production in different directions sometimes. When we’re working in the studio we can go as big as we want and as small as we want. We did both on Parc Avenue.”

Parc Avenue is the debut from Plants and Animals, an epic album, derived from three years of tears, tantrums and probably some jamming too?

“It was jamming and preparation. A bit of both. I usually have some kind of chord sequence and melody going and then we put it together. But there is some stuff on Parc Avenue that we stumbled upon during jams. For example the end of Mercy came out of a jam, and Guru was a jam. But mostly we have solid ideas before we get into the studio” says Matt

It is at this point that one of Angelina Jolie’s kids wanders in. They’re fucking everywhere. Or is this just a delusion brought on by the soft music of Parc Acenue? “What does your music sound like mister?” the genetically perfect child asks. Matt doesn’t miss a beat, doing his best to explain.

“We play rock and roll music, like a cross between the cookie monster and Elvis.” The kid leaves, probably hoping to hop on a plane to the homeland, or perhaps to invade the fantasies of some other poor fool.

Unlike most good things in this world Plants and Animals were created because of money. While commerce may rape nations of their culture, plunge us all into collective debt and poison the human condition, it does give bands the opportunity to do some cool shit.

“P&A came together at first to work on a weird instrumental album I had received funding to create. After that we were a band. Things from there just kinda grew very naturally. It took several years before I started to sing, and then more time for us to start writing songs.”

Wary of sounding a little vague, Matt clears things up.

“Look it’s hard to say what inspired us to take the music in this direction. It simply went there. It’s all about letting things happen.”

I nod, but the last time I just let things happen I ended up with a restraining order. Fortunately the creation of Plants and Animals avoided any nastiness and Parc Avenue was released to critical acclaim.

“The album was recorded over a couple of years. We were growing and changing the whole time. I think during that time we started to understand the kind of record we wanted to make. We didn’t know at first but we kinda let ourselves get taken into the flow and a lot of nice stuff came out of it.”

Growing and changing is an awkward time for us all, but Plants and Animals have come out the other end unscathed, with a batch of songs that’ll make you think twice about saying, “Canada? Yeah right!”

Plants and Animals’ ‘Parc Avenue’ is out now on Pod through Inertia.

Photo by Caroline Desilets.

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