Plajia – Beautiful Explosion

The Montreal ambient indie rock band Plajia knows how to make beautiful and amazing music. It’s hard to believe that it only takes three men to create such an intense and intricate wall of sound using more than twice as many instruments as band members. Plajia mastermind, Patrick Pleau, not only plays the guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica, glockenspiel, and percussion and lends his vocals, he also arranged and co-produced the band’s new album Beautiful Explosion, as well as co-designed the gorgeous album art.

Beautiful Explosion couldn’t be more aptly titled, as it is nothing short of a explosion of beautiful noise. Piano and drum hooks harmonize beautifully with melodic guitar riffs and smooth vocals that betrays influences like Radiohead and Muse. The record begins with twinkling percussion and a beautiful piano part on “Dummy” before becoming fast and driving with a shredding guitar solo.

If the first track grabs your attention, the second which demands it. “God Waiting In Line” offers a jaunty and plucky guitar riff, creating an undeniably catchy song. Catchy is the name of the game on Beautiful Explosion as the first single and title track hooks the listener with its poppy energy and ever-increasing tempo. The upbeat nature gives way to a beautiful melancholy on “Crazy Lovely Happiness.” A low piano riff begins the song and Pleau wails lyrics in a dull aching sort of way. He pounds on the keys as he repeatedly convinces himself “I will stay in love,” emphasis on “will.”

The piano intro on “A Love Song For Everyone” is reminiscent of Lightspeed Champion and opens into sweeping drums and twinkling percussion with a smooth melody. “Meet Me In Hong Kong” switches up Beautiful Explosion‘s tone by bringing in a space age-y synth part and a funky harmony between the piano and guitar with pounding staccato riffs while maintaining the smooth melodic quality found throughout the rest of the album. My only complaint with the album is one word used in “Meet Me On Hong Kong.” Pleau sings, “Nobody told her that he was a freaking liar,” and the use “freaking,” while family-friendly, is slightly juvenile and detracts from the anger of the line. That other F word would have been far more appropriate.

Beautiful Explosion ends with “The Other Life of Squared Pixels,” a very different song from the rest of the CD. A funky riffs picks up with synth-y keys creating a sound that’s part surf rock, part “Secret Agent Man.” Pleau sings with stressed yet whispered vocals over pounding music with a gritty rock edge. Tambourine comes in to drive the song over a steady beat before a melodic bridge with a warped synth part takes over. Twinkling classic rock keys and a classic rock guitar riffs pick up before the guitar becomes warped and spastic. While the rest of the album is nothing short of beautiful, “The Other Life of Squared Pixels” is an exciting change of pace and a perfect finish.

You can pick up a copy of Plajia’s gorgeous Beautiful Explosion now on Orange Music.

Tracklisting:
01. Dummy
02. God’s Waiting In Line
03. Sleeping
04. Beautiful Explosion
05. Crazy Lovely Happiness
06. A Love Song For Everyone
07. Meet Me In Hong Kong
08. Beating the Charms
09. This House
10. Is That The End
11. The Other Life of Squared Pixels

Plajia: website | myspace
Orange Music: website

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