Review: Plumerai – Marco Polo

Some bands are never the same again after key members depart. Others thrive on it and bring in replacements who even serve to add something extra. Plumerai’s core duo of Martin and James Newman formed the group in Boston, Massachusetts in 2005. However, shortly after their last album in 2011, both drummer and vocalist departed but were soon replaced by singer Eliza Brown and new stickswoman Mickey Vershbow. It was a good move based on the outift’s new EP, entitled ‘Marco Polo’.

Plumerai’s USP is definitely Eliza Brown. It is quite rare to have such a strident female vocalist fronting a shoegazing act, let alone one whose style would be more traditionally suited to jazz music. Her quality shines through on the EP’s title track and her range is almost enough to carry the melody on its own but Martin Newman provides a hypnotic jangly guitar figure as accompaniment. ‘Trip’ and the insistent ‘Mortality’ aren’t quite as arresting but Plumerai do sound more like a band rather than a vehicle for a singer. The group save their widcard to the end, however, and it arrives in the form of ‘Loss’; a folk-inflected number with Brown weaving in and out of the twisting key changes and Vershbow’s doomy rhythms.

Half of this EP may be solid rather then spectacular fare but the two other tracks certainly stand out from Plumerai’s contemporaries; offering a versatility and uniqueness that will be the envy of many. A new album will be arriving shortly which should prove that they can last the distance.

Web Sites:
Plumerai Official Site
Silber Records Label and Download Site

Further Listening:
My Foolish Heart

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