Late afternoon, Waiheke Island wharf, Auckland, New Zealand
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Plum Green: Rushes (plumgreen.co.nz)

Plum Green: Harpy
Plum Green: Rushes (plumgreen.co.nz)

Singer-songwriter Plum Green has a good back-story. Apparently "the daughter of a jazz-singing Parisian showgirl and a saxophone-playing Jewish intellectual" and born in an East London squat her parents broke into.

She also has a good back tattoo which, if like her back story is real, we hope she doesn't live to regret.

Doesn't matter though, because right now though she sings like a woman with few qualms and -- in a musical environment when many New Zealand women songwriters head for the shallows of you/I in their relationship-lyrics and airbrush their music -- Green stands before rock guitars and has commanding songs like Harpy ("I'm a harpy . . . I'm Medusa . . . the snakes will die when I am done with them") and sings lines like "I found my way here and like the coke on your teeth, I'm here to marinate".

This is different and interesting stuff from someone who is clearly different and interesting: I see here she also covered Nirvana's Territorial Pissings as a considered guitar ballad and the jazz standard Nature Boy with a cellist.

On this debut walking a line between dark rock-edged material (channeling the spirit of Jim Morrison's poetics and Patti Smith) and mysterious folk-like ballads (Ever Lasting Sleep), Green rarely falls into the trap of the familiar, and even when she heads towards you/I, the relationships are . . . let's just say complicated and more mythic than about moping on the bed.

She's as at home with a piano ballad (Wait Here) as riding the hurricane winds of high drama (Little Black Pain). 

There is an excellent bonus track annoyingly four minutes after the last listed one. Really worth locating though.

For a debut this is enormously promising and sounds more like it was recorded somewhere in dark Europe than the leafy West Auckland.

Impressive. 

This album can be bought as a download or a physical copy from her bandcamp site here. Check it out, as said she is different an interesting.

Your Comments

Martinilove - Nov 20, 2012

Definitely a bass not a cello, good article otherwise.

Anonoymous - Nov 20, 2012

Double Bass. Also not a tattoo - she was body painted.

post a comment