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One Little Plane - Into the Trees

  by Andy Cassidy

published: 30 / 4 / 2012

One Little Plane - Into the Trees
Label: One Little Indian
Format: CD


Exciting and innovative second album from Chicago-based psychedelic folk three-piece, One Little Plane

Following her debut album 'Until', Katherine Bint has expanded her One Little Plane to include Lucy Jamieson and Henry Scowcroft. 'Into the Trees', was recorded in North Wales when Bint was pregnant with her first child and was produced by Kieran Hebden of Four Tet fame. The album opens with 'She Was Out in the Water', an engaging folky piece which at first listen reminded me of Joanna Newsom’s early work. Lyrically ambiguous (shades of Stevie Smith, perhaps?) and musically precise, it is the perfect opening to an album which I found rewarding yet challenging. Second track 'Nothing Has Changed' is a gentle melody which belies a lyrical intensity which, despite being couched in altogether more palatable language, made me think of Liz Phair or Alanis Morissette. The album moves into slightly heavier territory with third track Paper Planes, which is almost grunge-like in its tone. Hanging loosely on the back of a driving drumbeat, a slacker guitar follows Bint’s almost casual vocal. One of the more unusual songs on the album, it is a fusion of genres which works extremely well. Although devoid of feedback and punky snarl, I could not help but notice elements of early-nineties Seattle throughout the album. That said, rarely does Bint’s vocal climb above a gentle lilt and musically arrangements are, in the main, gentle, sweeping and organic. Keiran Hebden’s hand is particularly evident on 'Bloom', an electronic and vocal track which, by virtue of its sparing use of instrumentation, shows the clarity and tenderness of Bint’s vocals. Bloom reminded me of Post'-era Bjork, and, for me, it was one of the album’s, admittedly many, highlights. The album’s penultimate track, 'I Know', is a more aggressive statement than anything else on the album – “If you want me then stand your ground” Bint exhorts an erstwhile lover. The track’s throbbing bass and guitar work seem to provide a release of tension which has built up over the course of the preceding eight tracks. Despite there being so many terrific songs on the album, this is undoubtedly my favourite. This is a hugely enjoyable album by a particularly gifted group of musicians and, in Bint, a wonderful songwriter. Lyrically, this collection balances angst with wonderfully poetic imagery and the group’s playing is precise and tight. This is an excellent album by a very exciting and, above all, innovative band.

Track Listing:-
1 She Was Out In The Water
2 Nothing Has Changed
3 Paper Planes
4 It's Alright
5 Hold You Down
6 Bloom
7 If You Ask
8 Simmer Down Simmer
9 I Know
10 Synthesizer

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