Plumhall : City Starlings
Plumhall return with ‘The Ghost Of Noise’, the long-awaited follow up to their acclaimed debut album ‘Thundercloud’. Michelle Plum (ex Chumbawamba / Chris Norman Band) and Nick Hall (ex Magna Carta / The Hall Brothers) make up the duo, working closely on this album with producer and multi-instrumentalist David Crickmore and drummer Andy Peacock.
The lead track is City Starlings. Released on May 8th via Proper Distribution, you can see the video
Michelle and Nick sing lead and harmony vocals and play a dizzying array of instruments on the record. Sonically, the new album is a departure from their previous record in its use of electronica and found sounds to augment their trademark harmonies and acoustic instrumentation. Producer David, having recently overseen the comeback of his 1980’s synth-pop group Fiat Lux, has been part of the driving force behind this change.
The duo have not only moved on sonically, they have also become even more experimental in their songwriting (both individually and collaboratively). The songs on the record are tied together by the themes of conflict and communication (as reflected in the Napoleonic watch tower and ruined Marconi signal station on an Irish headland that feature on the evocative artwork) as they delve into the realms of both the personal and the global.
The title track, the haunting ‘A Darkness That Won’t Leave The House’ and the social-media baiting ‘A Year Ago Today’ all deal with the day to day struggles of the individual, while ‘Mary’, ‘South To Glory’, ‘Fire Next Time’ and the surreal epic ‘Dust Devil’ take warnings from world history to inform the present and the future.
Lead song ‘City Starlings’ is a slice of joyous folk pop with warmly nostalgic lyrics, ‘Strange Driftwood’ looks at the recent refugee crisis through the eyes of a character weighed down by compassion fatigue and both ‘Cruel Adventurers’ and ‘The Outside Track’ hark back to the folk-rock roots of the duo.
The final track, ‘Closing Down’ is a studio recording of a song the duo were commissioned to write for the recent film ‘The Runaways’. Plumhall not only wrote the song for the film (in collaboration with the director Richard Heap), they also appeared in two of the key scenes, arranged and curated all the live trad/folk music in the film, coached the young actors to sing the songs and also performed the live version of ‘Closing Down’ with the superb, BAFTA Award-winning actor, Molly Windsor on screen.
Since the release of their last album, Michelle and Nick have wowed audiences across the country, engaged in rural touring schemes, performed with Al Stewart at the London Palladium and opened for some of the biggest names in roots, rock and folk (including Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Phil Beer, Ian McNabb, Chas & Dave, Ian Prowse, Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls, Jon Sevink & Dan Donnelly and many more) - all the time road-testing and perfecting these 12 new songs for the studio.
Now ‘The Ghost Of Noise’ - a heady mix of rock, pop, roots, folk and electronica - is ready to be unleashed.