Close your eyes during Plantman’s debut album and you’ll be
transported back to an era of pre-Britpop Indie. Given Matt Randall’s
(AKA Plantman) love of Go-Betweens, Sebadoh and Durutti Column, it’s
hardly surprising Whispering Trees sounds like it’s been pulled straight out
of the NME’s fabled C86 mixtape. But in a decade where over-production
thrives, there’s a refreshing lack of polish to this unhurried affair.
Although there’s little instant gratification to be found, tracks
like the shimmering Away With The Sun and picturesque Stickman are
quiet, unassuming earworms worthy of gradual pursuit. Equally impressive
is the title track’s haze of trebly, mid-paced guitars and the ghostly
chords of album highpoint Lunaria, both of which bare uncanny
resemblance to Lou Barlow at his most introspective. At 15 tracks long, Whispering Trees could benefit from a little fat trimming, but this is still a fine reminder of uncomplicated times.