It’s no big secret that Australia has a mean music community, one that consistently surprises. Exhibit A: Melbourne-based LOWER PLENTY. Named after the Melbourne suburb, this quartet is comprised of members of other great Aussie acts UV Race, Deaf Wish, Total Control, and The Focus. But unlike those aforementioned groups, Lower Plenty takes a turn away from the harsher, aggressive towards something softer but no less impressive. Here, the band’s brand folk rock is sleepy but poignant, their compositions a shambling mass of soft whistles and steady strumming, arranged in beautifully disjointed patterns. Their latest release <MEXICAN SUMMER.“>em>Life/Thrills , brought to the US by Mexican Summer via Brisbane’s BEDROOM SUCK RECORDS, is minimal but impactful album, one that sets out to prove that few instruments can be transformed into large sound.
The songs are composed primarily of steady, rambling acoustic guitar and a medley of quiet percussion. This lends a kind of unraveled feel to these songs, as if once the instruments and vocals were put together they were then deliberately unwoven. This gives the album a lightly frazzled and meandering tone, every song initially heading in one direction only to get lost and wander off in another. Lower Plenty capture the kind of erratic emotions that inspire the lyrics to these songs. In contrast to the quirks of the instrumentation, the vocals are more straightforward. With throaty and warm voices and harmonies, the songs achieve the sentimental and nostalgic mood one could savory for hours. Keep surprising us, Australia.