One Little Plane ‘Into The Trees’ Album Reviews (Posted By Harry)


One Little Plane

One Little Plane Album Reviews in:
For Folk’s Sake
& Pinpoint Music.

One Little Plane 
‘Into The Trees’
Singer Songwriter/Folk/Leftfield Pop
(Text)

For Folk’s Sake ‘Into The Trees’ Album Review
Words by Becky Varley–Winter

One Little Plane, a.k.a. Kathryn Bint, is often described as ‘gentle’, ‘soft’, and other words familiar to folk fans, but her second album shows that she can set herself apart. Into the Trees begins with ‘She Was Out In The Water’, a song of knowing, disconcerting sweetness, all glitter and undertow. It’s a compelling opening, but the following track, ‘Nothing Has Changed’, is disappointingly generic in comparison, ticking the same boxes as pretty much any soundtrack of dewy angst in teen romantic comedies from the last twenty years. There is something comforting about this formula, but it’s clear that so much more is possible, a greater range and flexibility, the further Bint goes into the trees. ‘Hold You Down’ enters complex, satisfying territory; she shines when she pitches her calm, insouciant voice against darker tones, like someone walking on tiptoe in a sunny room, casting a long shadow.

One Little Plane’s understated contentment can be refreshing, making it all sound easy; ‘Bloom’ is lovely, Bint duetting with delicate synths. I then get impatient with the more predictable prettiness of ‘If You Ask’ and ‘Simmer Down Simmer’, only to be startled by ‘I Know’, which is something of a breakthrough. It’s as if Bint just listened to the entire back catalogue of Nirvana for the first time; suddenly her voice has an edge to it, reminiscent of PJ Harvey’s brittle girlishness in certain songs. This doesn’t come across as affected at all, more as an honest experiment that pays off: the volume goes up. Gentleness is not always timid (see: This Is The Kit) and it’s great to hear Bint branching out. Into The Trees is young, in a positive sense; you can feel the growth of her sound, a strengthening core.

Pinpoint Music ‘Into The Trees’ Album Review
Written by Lemon

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

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