Published May 02, 2016After putting out three full-lengths between 2008 and 2012, Montreal three-piece Plants and Animals took an extended break from recording and touring. They recently broke that silence with the release of Waltzed in from the Rumbling, out now on Secret City.
"For three albums we had been touring a lot," Matthew "Woody" Woodley tells Exclaim! "We were recording a record, putting it out, touring and then we'd come home and record another one. This time we got off the merry-go-round."
During the four-year gap between 2012's The End of That and the new effort, Woodley, along with vocalist and guitarist Warren Spicer and multi-instrumentalist Nicolas Basque, used their time away from each other to start families and work on various musical projects. Returning to the studio in 2015, the band spent months recording the new album, decidedly trying to circumvent the pressure they felt while recording their last album.
"There were parts of that album we weren't fully satisfied with," Woodley explains, "[but] we had to go through with [them] because we had deadlines to tour. We came back from that whole experience a bit drained, so this time we said, 'Let's reset and push our habits aside and see what happens,' and I think the three of us are the happiest we've ever been with an album."
The resulting 11 tracks find Plants and Animals putting out some of their most beautifully arranged and executed material to date, incorporating sweeping strings, robust harmonies (courtesy of singers Adele Trottier-Rivard, Caroline Desilets, Emma Baxter and Katie Moore) and a modish horn section, even bringing in celebrated Montreal composer Gabriel Ledoux to help write the album's arrangements.
"We sent him six or eight songs that were still in sketch form and he wrote arrangements for all of them," Woodley explains, although not all of that work fit the band's vision. "We ultimately decided that some of the songs were too epic and grandiose and they sometimes took away from the rawness of the songs."
It was exactly this level of honesty, comfort and freedom that Plants and Animals allowed themselves and made their return to the studio such a success, "I think we get along better and had more fun than we ever had."
Plants and Animals start an extensive world tour on May 6; you can find those tour dates and the new video for "No Worries Gonna Find Us" below.
05/06 Winooski, VT - Waking Windows Music & Arts Festival
05/10 Washington, DC - DC9
05/11 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
05/13 Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade
05/14 Boston, MA - Great Scott
05/17 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
05/18 Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
05/19 Columbus, OH - The Basement
05/31 London, UK - The Hoxton
06/02 Paris, FR - Espace B
06/05 Toronto, ON - Field Trip
06/08 Chicago, IL - Schubas
06/09 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
06/10 Winnipeg, MB - The Good Will Social Club
06/11 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's
06/13 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
06/14 Calgary, AB - Marquee Room
06/15 Nelson, BC - Spiritbar at the Hume Hotel
06/16 Vancouver, BC - The Imperial Theatre
06/17 Victoria, BC - Sugar Nightclub
06/18 Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
06/21 Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
06/23 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
06/24 Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater