Album review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com
A concept album about the planting of a seed, through its growth and into fruition, anyone? Fear ye not, for 'The Seed', although written around that very hippyish notion, is not some airy-fairy flower power ramblings, nor is it indulgent prog noodlings. The new album from Aberdeenshire-bred, Edinburgh-based songwriter Shona Maguire (Plum being her childhood nickname) is closer in spirit to Goldfrapp or Nikki & The Dove, in that she takes the electro-pop format and pushes it into more elaborate, left-field pastures.
It's a stirring and emotive listen, too mysterious and haunting to trouble the mainstream much, but not dark and experimental enough to be off-putting to some more casual music fans. A less disturbing version of The Knife may be the most suitable comparison to Plum's work on this album. There are spooky, nightmarish melodies and beats on songs such as 'Dust' and 'The Climber', but they're offset with a light delivery and twinkly production, whereas the gentle, evocative folktronica of 'Quietly' and 'The Truth & The Knife' could be filed alongside Four Tet.
'Secret Roots' and 'The Seed' are as close as we come to pure pop moments, adding more accessible beats and memorable hooks without losing touch with the overall atmosphere of the record. The dubby touches on 'Chrysalis' and 'Meadow Of Weeds' bring further variety while still fitting in perfectly. The overall impression is that a lot of thought and attention to detail has been put in to this album and the result is wistful but powerful, and the more you listen the more depth you find in the music. It appears that like all good seeds, this one is a real grower.
Free download: 'The Truth & The Knife'
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