Plants and Animals announce new album – The Jungle – Review

The Jungle is the fifth studio album from Canada’s Plants And Animals, and is set to be released October 23rd via Secret City Records.

Preceded by the release of the single Le Queens. A French song featuring Adèle Trottier-Rivard on vocals, Plants and Animals are now set to release their latest long player on 23 October. They have also announced a brace of UK dates for 2021.

Plants and Animals are something of a cult in their native Canada, a cross between Nouvelle Vague and Arcade Fire, if you like.

Subtle, understated, meandering songs are the hallmark of The Jungle. Less is very definitely more in the case of this one.

The Jungle

This 8 track album is a deeply personal and reflective piece of work. The climate emergency gets a look in, as does grief, anxiety and, generally living in a world we don’t really want.

But, it’s not a depressing listen. Album closer, Bold, is an exhortation to us to stand up and follow our dreams – to be more bold, to take risks. Opener, The Jungle is an upbeat, almost hypnotic blend of electronic drums and sound effects that mimic chattering insects at night.

Le Queens is a highlight and a pretty obvious choice for the lead single. The vocals have an almost Jane Birkin feel about them and, the lyrics allegedly written while standing in line at Home Depot are described by the band as: “about an evening in Queens, dancing among strangers, time moving backwards in slow motion and falling in love.”

Plants and Animals

In Your Eyes could have been written by The War on Drugs – it has that lazy, North American guitar twang about it. Sacrifice has a suitably threatening drum pounding through it as we get: “I gave you the best years of my life / volunteered on your behalf / sacrifice / it doesn’t matter / for dopamine and lots of laughs“.

But throughout this relatively short album, there’s a feeling the band is creating mini landscapes, mood boards for the head and the ears. Sine waves of melody just pass on by as the drums pulse and the guitars and keys do no more than is required.

This is a yet another band reflecting the state of the world right now. It’s inevitable, we suppose, but it’s also the nature of the beast.

Plants and Animals have an extensive European tour planned for 2021. We can only hope they make it.


23.02.2021 –  Brighton, UK @ The Albert

24.02.2021 –  London, UK @ The Lexington

Band images – credit – Dominic Berthiaume

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