Plants and Animals - La La Land

Plants and Animals - La La Land


Plants and Animals latest offering, La La Land, is louder, and tougher, but also showcases them their smoothest and most cohesive to-date. Inspired by a rediscovery of electric guitars, amplification and fuzz pedals, it takes us up and away from Parc Avenue’s Montreal-in-the-summer vibe, and out into the rock n’ roll ether. The album was recorded at the band’s hometown go-to studio in Montreal, The Treatment Room, and at Studio La Frette outside Paris—a brokedown old mansion filled with vintage gear and a killer board in the cellar instead of wine. 

Though plenty of wine went into the album. As Warren puts it, “the Paris stuff is like a nice Bordeaux and the Montreal stuff is more like a baked potato. Sessions in Paris ended by 10pm, sessions in Montreal by 6am.” Rum and cokes inspired the initial Treatment Room sessions in late 2008. The album’s first track, “Tom Cruz,” eventually came out of these late nights. As the Woodman tells it, “it was December, pre-Christmas, so we fuelled the session with rum and cokes. They made us feel like Tom Cruise. It gave us killer smiles and made our enemies wither.” 

Ultimately it’s this sense of hilarious confidence that currently characterizes Plants and Animals, and also gives La La Land its cohesion. The Woodman’s drums sound bigger and groovier, Nic colours the album with extra guitars and keyboards like a mad painter, and Warren’s vocals have taken even more ambitious strides. 

“We got fat making the record but got skinny mixing it,” Warren jokes. After handing over album-mixing duties to someone other than Warren for the first time, the band decided they weren’t happy with the results, and camped out at the Treatment Room for two weeks in the fall of 2009 to remix the record. Warren even setup a tent in the studio, working around the clock to wrap things up. Many late nights and even more bad working titles later, La La Land was done. 

In many ways La La Land is just as eclectic as Parc Avenue, but there’s something more mature holding it all together now. As they might say in the movies, La La Land isn’t a place—it’s a state of mind. Plants and Animals have never been a band with much interest in posturing or unnecessary theatrics, but on La La Land the curtain isn’t just pulled back, it’s gone entirely. Free shipping available to St. John's/Toronto for pickup only.

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