Plants and Animals are a Montreal-based trio that began playing together as kids, emerged on the international scene in 2008 and have developed a varied cult following ever since, built this on the shoulders of their self-produced records, their intense live show, or both—depending on who you ask.
They have been nominated for big awards. They have appeared on major radio and television programs. They have opened for household names and headlined many tours of their own around North America and Europe. In 2013, they decided to slow down.
By slow down, they meant make music the way they used to. It was the beginning of what would be an on-and-off recording process stretched out over two years. It was a time of rest, as the story often goes, for a band that had seen plenty of touring and not enough home. They slept in their own beds and made their new album through nine seasons and the thick of life. Through births and deaths, most notably—magnificent sunrises, shattering sunsets and the days between. Their new LP is called Waltzed in from the Rumbling. It is a dance of days.
By make music the way they used to, they meant to follow threads to their frayed ends. They recorded any ideas that popped up and edited impulsively. Lyrics were often streams of consciousness, bent into shape. They left mistakes in place where they had their charms, looking to expose rather than conceal. The lead singer doubled as engineer, the lead guitar player as baroque pianist, the drummer as inside-outside eye. They called in friends to sing, to play bass, keys, strings and horns. They found an antique guiro next to an obsolete VCR on the curbside and recorded both. They made an empty fridge sound like a timpani drum. They covertly recorded girls' brash gossip on a city bus. They discovered the guy who always hung around in the kitchen was a cabasa wizard. It all found a place. They took the path of big production. They pulled down the curtains and showed their hearts and bones.
It felt like the time that they quit their day jobs, holed up in a crooked apartment on Parc Avenue and made their first record.
"It was more like an art studio than a recording studio," says Warren Spicer. "A mess, pieces of songs all over the place. We had this big canvas and were constantly filling in corners here, erasing there, repainting that part, standing back and looking at the whole picture to see what we had."
The influences are far and wide: the broken soul of Van Morrison; the off-kilter geometry of J Dilla; the dark, French funk of Serge Gainsbourg; the fire of John Coltrane's quartet; Messiaen's synaesthesia; the quirk of Angelo Badalamenti. It sounds like P&A, wide open with room to move.
"We wanted to push the songs in less obvious directions to keep it interesting," says Matthew Woodley. "To keep each other on our toes but also imagining that people listening to it would appreciate the same. But if it ever felt like cleverness was taking precedence over feeling, we'd drop what we were doing and move onto something else."
"We pushed each other and we listened to each other more than ever before,” says Nic Basque. "It was fun and much easier than in the past. You just work—that's how people develop their language in whatever they do. That's what we did."
This is Plants and Animals' most soulful and inventive collection of music yet. Eleven soundtracks for leaps taken, ships sailed, dark water and pink skies. Waltzed in from the Rumbling comes out on Secret City Records on April 29, 2016.
Preorder the new album on iTunes
Listen to “Stay” on Spotify
“Cross-legged acoustic jams and staggering electric anthems … even at their most ornate, Plants and Animals have always been a power trip at core. They play with such vigor that they might as well be fronting an unheard orchestra.” – FILTER
“vibrant, constantly rewarding” – SPIN
Eight years after their debut album Parc Avenue (2008), Montreal based and Polaris-Prize nominated artist Plants and Animals’ newest evolution, Waltzed in from the Rumbling, is set for release April 29 on Secret City Records. Similarly recorded to tape, the new album embodies the raw musicianship characteristic of the group, while injecting symphonic crescendos, lyrical balladry, and metamorphic song developments. This is Plants and Animals' most soulful and inventive collection of music yet. Eleven soundtracks fit to accompany leaps taken, ships sailed, dark water and pink skies.
Since their most recent LP, The End of That (2012), the members of Plants and Animals have begun families and taken the time to slow down. Intentionally removing time constraints from their process, the group sought to reconnect with the honesty and autonomy of music created without pressure. "It was more like an art studio than a recording studio," says lead vocalist Warren Spicer. "A mess, pieces of songs all over the place. We had this big canvas and were constantly filling in corners here, erasing there, repainting that part, standing back and looking at the whole picture to see what we had." The time taken to write the album is reflected in climactic progressions within each song. Rather than a single frame, they give you the length of the horizon. Rather than a glimpse—they give you a vision.
The influences of the new LP are far and wide: the broken soul of Van Morrison; the off-kilter geometry of J Dilla; the dark, French funk of Serge Gainsbourg; the fire of John Coltrane's quartet; Messiaen's synaesthesia; the quirk of Angelo Badalamenti. The result is pure Plants and Animals, wide open with room to move.
The first single “Stay” exemplifies the large orchestral scope that Plants and Animals have unleashed, while channeling the gritty folk roots that bore Parc Avenue. The track opens with an acoustic folk vocal, reminiscent of past albums. Then, unexpectedly, the song takes an electric turn, exploding in sound, tempo, instrumentation, and depth, asking you to “look inside your heart”. “Stay” is an instant rock classic: epic and unforgettable.
Waltzed in from the Rumbling is available for pre-order in our store now!
According to Woodley, this followup to 2012’s gritty live-off-the-floor project The End of That will be more groove-based and employ more of the studio wizardry of Parc Avenue and La La Land.
“We’re kind of staying under the radar,” he says. “We got invited to play Paddlefest in St. Andrews, N.B., on Saturday and thought that since we were coming out this way, it was high time that we played at home.”
Slow and steady wins the race.
The motto is as true for competitive runners as it was for Montreal-based indie rock band Plants and Animals when they decided the best method of creating their next album.
According to drummer and vocalist Matthew Woodley, the boys are taking on a slower pace; spending time getting their work in while also making sure to build something of substance prior to stepping up to the start line and letting it all go.
Plants and Animals are pleased to announce their 2013 Fall Tour, which sees them playing shows in Canada and the northeastern US. The tour kicks-off with a special show at Breakglass studio during Pop Montreal and includes a two-night stand in Kingston, Ontario at the Grad Club, stops in Edmonton, Ottawa, Buffalo, Portland, Maine and wraps up in Burlington, Vermont. A full itinerary is below.
FALL 2013 TOUR DATES
09/26 - Montreal, QC – Breakglass Studio (Pop Montreal)
09/27 - Kingston, ON – The Grad Club
09/28 - Kingston, ON – The Grad Club
10/12 - Edmonton, AB – McDougall United Church
10/25 - Ottawa, ON – Nature Nocturne of the Canadian
11/07 - Buffalo, NY - Iron Works
11/08 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
11/09 - Hudson, NY - Club Helsinki
11/13 - New Haven, CT - BAR
11/14 - Portland, ME - Empire
11/15 - Burlington, VT - Signal Kitchen
Click here to buy tickets
« De Wilco aux longues digressions du rock des seventies en passant par les plates-bandes d’Arcade Fire ici joyeusement piétinées, les amalgames indiffèrent vite, car Plants And Animals parvient à un épanouissement dans le classicisme rock qui n’appartient qu’à lui. »
Just in time for spring, Plants and Animals are thrilled to be releasing their latest album, "The End of That" in France on April 3rd via Secret City. The band will be headed to France to support the release on a headlining tour. Support acts include Half Moon Run, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Rich Aucoin.
Following their hugely successful show in July 2012 at Nouveau Casino in Paris, Plants and Animals blew away the French delegation at last year’s FME. Notable outlet Libération heralded their set, stating that Plants and Animals "won the medal" for the best performance at the festival. And this month’s issue of Rolling Stone France has a full page dedicated to the band.
Upcoming complete tour dates:
02/07/12 Waterloo, ON || Starlight Social Club
02/08/13 Hamilton, ON || This Ain't Hollywood
02/09/13 London, ON || Call The Office
02/15/13 Wakefield, ON || Black Sheep Inn
02/16/13 Ottawa, ON || Ritual
03/28/12 Saint-Jean sur Richelieu, QC || Cabaret-Théâtre du Vieux Saint-Jean
03/29/13 Québec, QC || Théâtre du Petit Champlain
03/30/13 Terrebonne, QC || Moulin Neuf
04/19/13 Paris, France || La Défense Festival *
04/20/13 Laval, France || 6 par 4 *#
04/22/13 Tourcoing Lille, France || Le Grand Mix *
04/26/13 Nantes, France || Stereolux *&
04/29/13 Toulouse, France || La Dynamo
04/30/13 Orléans, France || L'Astrolab
05/02/13 Paris, France || Point Éphémère
05/16/13 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC || Le Zaricot
05/30/13 Val-David, QC || Mouton Noir
05/31/13 Magog, QC || Vieux-Clocher de Magog
06/01/13 Lavaltrie, QC || Chasse Galerie
* with Half Moon Run
# with Marie-Pierre Arthur
& with Rich Aucoin
Photo credit: Christian Leduc
France's Next-Liberation from France called Plants and Animals the highlight of FME...
Le band s'installe, et la réverbération est vraiment pas si pire que ça mon pit. Elle est, en fait, appréciable et appropriée, enrobant adroitement, ajoutant de l'éther aux envolées indie qui s'immiscent souvent dans le rock sentimental du groupe. Tout le monde a le même costume, tasse-toi Village People.
Plants and Animals have announced their fall tour schedule that focuses heavily on tour dates across Canada. They also today released a cover of Malajube’s “Etienne D’aout” which was recorded live at Pop Montreal in 2011. The cover is taken from the same “Live at Breakglass” performance that yielded their cover of Wolf Parade’s ”I’ll Believe in Anything” earlier this year.
Plants and Animals have a couple more festival stops on their itinerary before the end of August, including appearances at Squamish in BC and FME in Rouyn-Noranda. The band plays a handful of shows in Canada in the US through September and October before starting the bulk of the Canadian tour on Halloween in Victoria. Full details after the jump.
We know you are all heading down to Parc Jean-Drapeau for Osheaga this weekend, so make sure you don't miss Plants and Animals on Saturday August 4th playing at 3:45PM on the River stage presented by Virgin Mobile!
Booking (North American)
Steven Himmelfarb (Billions)
Gillian Nycum (Long Play Management)
Jessica Linker (Pitch Perfect PR)
Join the Secret City mailing list
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.