Still House Plants - Fast Edit LP (Blank Forms, 2020)
Wow...Huh. Ok, yea. You know how every now and then you hear a record that resonates so acutely and so intimately that it feels like you've actually made a new friend, just by having it around? I haven't been left this speechless by a band's debut outing in quite some time. Had I been privy to this when it first came out last year (instead of, like, just now), this might have be my favorite "modern rock" record of 2020. Truly unique, enchanting, intoxicating stuff. Outsider r&b / free-folk / neo-soul (?) with a loosely Dead C/US Maple approach, while sounding so little like either of those bands that it's almost useless to mention.
Whatever magic is being employed here hides behind a seemingly straight-forward veneer that sort of warps and boils beneath the surface. Are these songs being "freestyled?" Are those live drums or an incredibly convincing sampler that occasionally slips up just enough to make its presence known? What's in that Glasgow water, man?! You know what, don't answer. I can't exactly tell how this music was recorded and I think I'd prefer to keep it that way. What a listen...
"Fast Edit is the second LP by Still House Plants, a Glasgow and South London-based three-piece collective made up of Finlay Clark, David Kennedy, and Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach.
As artists who started to write music together during their 2nd year at The Glasgow School of Art, Still House Plants emerged from the eclectic scene surrounding Glasgow’s Green Door Studio and soon found a home at London’s Cafe OTO, where they undertook a six-month residency in 2018.
Factor in a semester spent living with an emo band in Chicago and the intimate aggregation of the trio’s sound heterodoxy—an astonishing cohabitation of fractured R&B, wistful sensitivity, and harmolodic guitar—begins to show its strands. With punk autonomy, Still House Plants navigate a similarly divergent approach to ostensibly kindred artists Linda & Sonny Sharrock or James “Blood” Ulmer, but instead cite the cut-up affect of UK garage as the impetus for their sparse treatment of chords and words as samples; stuttered, fragmented, and permuted by living drums, guitar, and Hickie-Kallenach’s unmistakable husky voice.
Written aided by mobile phones, dictaphones, laptop recordings of rehearsals, conversations, and live shows, Fast Edit is a collage of different fidelities and aural spaces, a palimpsest most tenderly exhibited on album centerpiece “Shy Song”. Things sit on top of each other, fall over one another, or click into place, with hearts on sleeves and spirits in motion." - Blank Forms