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Plum – Betsy Thunder EP

Fresh from confusing us on The Seed (Or maybe that was just me ?) Plum (aka Shona Maguire ) is back with a generous, six track EP to be reckoned with. On The Seed I had perceived a stylistic tug of war between earthy, rootsy, folky rock and electronica. It seems electro won out and Betsy Thunder is far more cohesive for it.

For those who don’t know, Plum is one girl, Shona who is very open to the idea of engaging co-contributors. Her music is simultaneously bold and intimate. Shona sings with a clear, ‘cool filtered’ voice, but the programming and playing with which she backs her vocals are often slightly off-kilter and subversive. ‘Burn Us’ kicks things off – Shona defiantly non-conformist with the line “Burn us if we’re not like you” . That could be a religion thing or a music thing. To some of us they’re the same anyway. I could listen to ‘Casting Shadows’ all day long. Plum on this kind of form is hard to peg, but if you need one artist to hang your coat on with reference to Plum how about Bjork ?. We’re in the realm of idiosyncratic, female music, meaning beauty and beguilement in equal measure. The voice is less gasped than Ms Guðmundsdóttir of course, cleaner and more precise. ‘Death Comes With A Bow’ is a title track of sorts because it references Thunder – “I belong in the thunder” gives way to “I became the thunder” … we’re in Goddess territory. Musically, it’s nuts, warping from left to right channel, a song couldn’t sound more electronic and yet it remains earthy and primal, putting me in mind of a power wielding Goddess.

“I’m only human” Shona will come to implore . I’m…. not so sure. When I first heard her music on Different Skin , there was little Plum, a girl I could take home to meet my folks. A girl who needed my protection. Now there is an astonishing array of ambition, ability and power on display. The white draped nymph/muse of the most recent photo shoot is a lie. It’s not her, not the real her. Shona is Plum. But Plum is a woman now and more. Plum today is mystery and terrible, unknowable beauty. I’m quite stunned. One day she’s going to tear everything down. She didn’t come here to destroy everything she loves… but I think she might anyway.

There’s a remake of Carrie out in Cinema’s now.
I’m just sayin’.

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