Plants and Animals: “Lightshow”
They’re proggy without being self-indulgent. They’re folky without being boring. They’ve got enough pop chops to keep even the most casual music fan’s ears glued to the stereo. They’re Montreal trio Plants and Animals.
The band formed in 2002 as an instrumental group that emphasized heavy improvisation. By the time of the release of their 2008 full-length debut Parc Avenue, member Warren Spicer took the mic as lead vocalist. Parc Avenue garnered nominations for several Canadian music awards including two Junos (Canada’s version of the Grammy). Last year’s La La Land found the band entering denser, riffier territory. Today’s song of the day “Lightshow” is one of the tracks on Plants and Animals’ forthcoming record The End of That, which is due out February 28.
On “Lightshow” Spicer sings like a man standing at a great precipice, staring down into the wet, gaping maw of indecision. His vocals are tender and vulnerable. “Everything is shaking and falling through my hands,” he sings. Contrasting Spicer’s vocal impasse is a big, sure-footed rhythm and strutting guitars. The discordant solo echoes fellow Canadian Neil Young’s fret work. It’s a song that is made great by its emotional complexity from a band that is great for being everything it’s not.