‘Plumas’ is an album that moves from esoteric electronic pop to ambient music, from lyrics like ‘fingers and toes respond when touched’ to echo-drenched indeterminable vocals, all smoothly transitioning in a cohesive and luscious release.
The opening half, from ‘Window’ to ‘El Amohadon de Plumas’ is a journey of electronic jazz, where synth lines and saxophones weave amongst each other, and Bodyverse’s voice, thoroughly digitally manipulated, gives everything a metallic sheen. In ‘OGPR’, she cycles in an almost binary fashion through digits – ‘1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2’ – before launching into a robotic ‘control combination action, actions leave attitudes…fingers and toes respond when touched’ (I could be very wrong with these lyrics but I think that’s what they are!). It’s difficult to decode, especially the strangely instruction-manual-esque nature of Bodyverse’s delivery, but the effect is eerie and detached experimental pop. The influence of avant-garde artists such as Bjork, The Knife and St. Vincent springs to mind.
‘Eko’, the most confident track on the album, uses Bodyverse’s voice to fantastic effect, with plenty of digital modulation, but still maintaining an organic soul.
The second half of the record drifts into ambient electronica, shifting away from brass and focussing on reverb-soaked piano melodies. ‘Eko’, the most confident track on the album, uses Bodyverse’s voice to fantastic effect, with plenty of digital modulation, but still maintaining an organic soul. Keyboard and piano work in tandem here, and the track floats from one destination to another: the duo are at their best in these in-between spaces. VEKA’s production, here, is restrained but layered. Faizan Riedinger’s work with Forever South has often been strikingly diverse in nature – from summer pop melodies of ‘Kymatica’ to the feral ‘FM4LYF’. But on ‘Plumas’, both Riedinger and Bodyverse surrender to the material, happy to let a saxophone lament in ‘Maloumaat’, for instance, or allow the keyboard and piano to meander and drift in closer ‘Oggetto’. It makes for an almost meditative experience. It just feels effortless.
Although seemingly a one-off album, ‘Plumas’ is an assured statement of jazzy electronic pop and ambience, with enough weirdness to give it an edge, and gorgeous ambient production.
Favourite Track: Eko
You can listen to and buy the album, released by Hear Now Records, here.