Still House Plants
If I don’t make it, I love u


4.0
excellent

Review

by doofy USER (28 Reviews)
April 18th, 2024 | 21 replies


Release Date: 04/12/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Indoor house plants do more than just add aesthetic value to your home - they also can provide chillness and stillness.

May I introduce you to the ‘hardest to review album of the year’, a true ‘all or nothing’ affair that’s as likely to confound as it is to captivate. Still House Plants, a band name as equally hard to get a handle on as the music itself, are either a mostly improvised experimental act disguised as something more approachable …or a songful one hiding behind layers of seeming chaos.

What creates this confusion is Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach’s singing which behaves somewhat like conventional lead vocals at times, only to then either lock into some trancelike mantra or even more intriguingly, adopts the role of another freewheeling lead instrument. Combined with the ever chopping and churning, skeletal Storm and Stress'ish post-rock backing of drums and guitar these vocals somehow feel totally intuitive and ‘ideal’.

There’s a hint of warmth in the tones here that call to mind slowcore like Low or indiefied soul (frequently this music resembles a deconstructed version of last year’s Anohni album). In terms of vocal influence the androgyny and soul most recall the aforementioned Anohni, but beyond that the most outré qualities lead to the usual suspects like Scott Walker but also surprisingly the 'impossible to imitate' Tim Buckley (this voice can also go animalistic/guttural too, which is impressive).

One question is to how much of a degree is this music improvised, rehearsed or meticulously recorded; it’s a question which might have some academic interest but really it’s unlikely such knowledge will change how a listener engages with these songs. To go further, this album feels like a work you either fully surrender to or pretty soon you will hit a brick wall of reservations, so if you feel there’s a touch of magic here it’s probably best not to start trying to pull it all apart trying to figure out where that’s come from. The band’s approach does work better on some tracks than others (closer ‘More More Faster’ in particular comes close to a perfect refinement of their style) but the idea that the skip button could enhance a listener’s experience feels nonsensical/close to sacrilege.

‘If I don’t make it, I love u’ will prove divisive (it already is) and that’s no surprise - for those on board this band are likely to rate as one with the most future potential and it will be fascinating to find out how they develop their sound from here. As long as their music remains a helluva ball ache to review they’ll be on the right path.



Recent reviews by this author
Perry Blake Death Of A Society GirlBonny Light Horseman Keep Me on Your Mind/See You Free
Richard Thompson Ship to ShoreArab Strap I'm Totally Fine With It Don't Give a Fuck Anymore
Pearl Jam Dark MatterThe High Llamas Hey Panda
user ratings (30)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofDoof
April 18th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let the shit show begin.



Expecting a few strong opinions on this one.

theBoneyKing
April 18th 2024


24513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great coverage for this Doof! I’ve been enjoying it without being totally sure I fully get it, but I think you’ve arrived at the right approach.

DoofDoof
April 18th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Boney...for the longest time i was thinking I'd skip reviewing this but I just about got there!

PumpBoffBag
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2024


1587 Comments


Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, gj Doof

DoofDoof
April 18th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciated PBB

Calc
April 18th 2024


17366 Comments


listened to a few off of this the other day. I liked it but I'll have to finish the album

DoofDoof
April 19th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some of the best tracks are at the end so yeah definitely complete it Calc

Cygnatti
April 21st 2024


36068 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The vocals on this are sometimes extremely bad

DoofDoof
April 21st 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They’re definitely not classically trained ;)

theBoneyKing
April 21st 2024


24513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The vox are prob the toughest sell yeah.

theBoneyKing
April 24th 2024


24513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The drums are the real selling point for me, giving in to those weird grooves is the best way to enjoy this.

DoofDoof
April 24th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The instrumentals in general are great but I’d have been a lot less invested in this without the vocals

LeakingFountain11
April 26th 2024


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think the vocalist has actual proper singing skills, I can tell from how smoothly she can make vibrato sounds. It’s her voice itself that maybe difficult to take in.

To me, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve always admired mathy post-rock bands like Slint and Don Caballero but usually their vocals are very amateur sounding (not that it’s a bad thing) or it’s instrumental.

DoofDoof
April 26th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, the vocals work the majority of the time for me and as suggested in the review, they’re Tim Buckley impressive at times

Winesburgohio
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2024


4044 Comments


astonishing album imo

markjamie
April 27th 2024


739 Comments


I actually find the timbre of the singer's voice so repellent as to be genuinely unlistenable; it is literally the most unpleasant music I have heard this year.
But y'all seem to enjoy it so clearly a me problem... I won't clog up the thread with any more negativity.

neekafat
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2024


26307 Comments


um kinda really fw the vox on the opener

TheManMachine
May 7th 2024


337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"literally the most unpleasant music I have heard this year"



it is pretty good yeah

theBoneyKing
May 7th 2024


24513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can’t say why but I’ve found listening while cooking is my favorite way to enjoy this.

DoofDoof
May 8th 2024


15254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll try it ha!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy