One Little Plane – Into the Trees One Little Plane – Into the Trees

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Chicago native Kathryn Bint’s output as One Little Plane is how relatively restrained it is- Having had someone with such an eclectic taste in music as Kieran Hebden at the reigns for both albums almost seems incompatible with Bint’s straightforward, folk-pop sheen. But several listens of Into The Trees show that, as it was on 2008’s Until – Hebden’s presence is tastefully understated.

When Bint’s melodies are coupled with the kind of lush instrumentation that Hebden’s early post-rock material came to represent, the results are sublime. Sun-kissed opener ‘She Was Out In The Water’ typifies the best parts of the collaboration; a simple building block of four chords, gainy guitars and ultimately, a memorable tune. Having Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood on bass probably helps in that respect, and indeed he also lends a hand on the distinctly more downbeat ‘Hold You Down’, where gentle percussion stops the track turning into a pretty sounding mope.

Hebden’s influence in keeping all these elements in check should not be ignored, but ultimately this is the sound of One Little Plane – most obviously apparent through Bint’s voice – a wonderfully rich croon that lends itself perfectly to lyrics such as “His kiss is touched like honey too sticky to erase” and the melancholic “We will stay here until we bloom” (on the twinkling ‘Bloom’).

There are a few missteps- and they generally occur when Into The Trees strays into awkward 90’s indie rock, as evidenced on the slightly cringe-worthy ‘I Know’ (“There is a road that I will not go down, if you want me then stand your ground”) and ‘Paper Planes’, which sounds every bit as worn as its influences. The other curious blip is ‘Simmer Down Simmer’, in which Bint threatens to become a caricature of herself with saccharine sweet vocal melodies – it threatens to get stuck in your head for all the wrong reasons.

Thankfully there’s enough successful variation on Into The Trees to warrant repeated listens, and when Bint gets it right, it’s pretty and lush sounding music. Fans of the collaborators on board here will also have fun dissecting the likes of ‘Bloom’ and ‘Synthesizer’, which more than nod to their original projects. An altogether curious and enchanting affair.

Tracklist:

1. She was out in the water
2. Nothing has changed
3. Paper planes
4. It’s alright
5. Hold you down
6. Bloom
7. If you ask
8. Simmer down simmer
9. I know
10. Synthesizer

One Little Plane - Into the Trees, reviewed by Lemon on 2012-05-29T08:59:56+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5



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