Describing your band as “original, fusing heart-hitting synth melodies with punk/funk style bass lines, lo-fi analogue house/disco beats, sensual vocals and disco/funk guitar” creates quite heavy expectations. But, 5 piece Plutonic Dust do not create music that shies away from expectations. The band is made up of Paddy Mc Adam (Automation, Synth and Vocoder), Veronica Moran (Vocals and Synth ), Kevin McKnight (Electric Bass ), Ciaran O’ Shea (Electric guitar) John Tyrell (Congas, drum pads /percussion), five like minded musicians ready to experiment and bring their new full length album to the music fans of Ireland. Freshly released on the 9th April, Grand Delusions promises an electronic dance escape, with a creative and fresh ambiance.
The first track ‘Kill for Gold’, opens the album with strong beats and rhythmic vintage synth, that create a very cool atmosphere. Your body starts moving to this track before you even realise it. Not just a great song title, but a song that gives an example of the vision these musicians have to combine meaningful vocals with contrasting funk and disco beats. ‘Losing Control’, is the second track on the album, with an opening that is reminiscent of Kraftwerk’s popular songs and vocals that echo Ian Curtis. The song has a touch of more darker tones, with pulsing synth not dissimilar to a church organ, and fast-paced spoken vocals. Third track ‘Hoops’, is a little more upbeat in atmosphere, but keeps similar pulsing drum beats, creating a continuation within the album. The lyrics here are well written and quite personal, yet work well with the electronic background.
The fourth track ‘Rain Talk’, has the same meaningful vocals set to a background of interesting guitar sounds and experimental, slightly exotic instrumentation. The slight contrast between the first four tracks creates a subtle intriguing ‘can’t turn it off’, sound that can be hard to achieve for some bands. ‘Night Train’, (which for the record takes no apparent inspiration from the G&R track of the same title), mellows out the atmosphere slightly with slower rhythms and more melodic, almost pop-like vocals. This change in pace creates an interlude of sorts in the middle of the album, like a break from the dance floor to get a drink and check your make up sort of thing.
‘Sugar Honey’, is the track that revives the tired bodies, and brings everyone back to life with a slight swing beat that encourages you to let loose and just feel the rhythm. The lead synth sound creates a melody to focus on, and the vocals are the same few sentences on repeat, which is common in disco music. Yet, the band successfully creates an uncommon mixture of electronic synth and pop vocals that don’t clash with each other.
‘Bright Lights’, is the seventh track on the album, and has a strong message of dancing to escape. Veronica sings “All I need is bright lights, flashing to the rhythm, escape from reality, take me to my destiny”, and the strong drum beats defy anyone to not feel the urge to move.
‘Body Talk’, is a little darker and more house inspired. The deep, pounding synth is very cool and fresh, and the vocals are almost rock like, all combining to create a sound different to any of the other tracks on the album. ‘Eskimo Kiss’, closes the record with all the elements of the rest of the album – pop vocals with a twist, experimental disco synth and funk guitar rhythms. The song doesn’t offer anything new per se, but rounds off the album well with a consistent and thorough feel.
While Plutonic Dust have a very definite sound, within that sound they experiment and change to ensure that they are not predictable or boring from track to track, which is a hard thing to master. What I find particularly interesting, is that you could take the vocals away, and it would work as instrumental electronic music. In the same way, you could strip the vocals down to just an acoustic guitar accompaniment, and it would also work just as well. There is a professionalism and well-produced feel to both the instruments and the vocals, that definitely comes through on the whole sound of the album. With the album launch just behind them, the band surely have more gigs planned, so keep an eye on their social media to avoid missing them live!