Sydney-based indie-pop purveyor Pluto Jonze is set to release the next taste of his upcoming sophomore record ‘Awe’, in the form of blissful A/B side New Morning High / Rumschpringe – produced by the artist himself and mixed by Brendan Cox (Imogen Heap, Guy Siggsworth).
Opening with serene piano glides and delicate djembe, New Morning High is a modest indie-pop paragon. The pre-choruses build with sublime, reverberating chords, before the introduction of warm, syncopated bass lines and joyful snares and kick drums. This all builds into a gratifying last chorus, as Pluto’s vocals walk the line between soothing and striking.
This leads elegantly into track two, Rumschpringe, which envelops the listener in shapeshifting soundscapes, before dropping into a steadfast beat with splashing grand piano. Pluto’s psych-influenced lead vocals drip with gravitas and meld with programmed synthesizers to build towards cathartic choruses, resounding with uplifting group backing vocals.
Pluto talks about the meaning and inspiration behind the tracks: “I came up with that piano riff a couple of years ago and it felt like new beginnings… like emerging from the apocalypse maybe? I thought perhaps the riff could end up representing a coming-out-of-lockdown moment. Anyway, here we are. Still. The breakthrough for the song came when I tried putting that chiller beat loop behind it, from there the intent of the song fell into place. It’s about acceptance, being comfortable in your own skin, the feeling like nothing can change your world and you’re ready for anything. The riff is still the original demo recording from when I first came up with it so there’s a sense to me of the song staying true to its original intention despite the marathon it’s been on. More than any other on the record, this track makes me feel warm and happy.”
“To me ‘Rumschpringe’ has this sense of the world running away from you. I’d just watched Devil’s Playground, this documentary about super sheltered Amish youths who have this one year where they sample life in the ‘real’ world, ‘Rumschpringe’, before deciding to either re-join the sheltered Amish community or leave forever. I was imagining what it’s like for friends from birth or siblings who end up being separated in this way. A lot of focus gets put on the difficulties of the one who joins mainstream society, but what about the person who stays behind? To me this is a distillation of something that happens in mainstream society as you grow up. Will you remember me? At the same time, I was watching a lot of other artists who I’d toured or collaborated with having different levels of national and international success, and I realised that process is like something that sort of happens all the time in life. Reinvention. For better or worse. Artistically, romantically. And how do you feel if you’re left behind?”
Previous A/B side Moonmaking / Dot saw support from The Music, Life Without Andy, Backseat Mafia, Tone Deaf and Australian community radio. Previous releases have also been widely embraced the likes of Spotify, triple j, triple j Unearthed, The Guardian, Pilerats, The Telegraph, Channel V, Purple Sneakers, Tone Deaf, The AU Review, Music Feeds and US College radio. As part of indie-rock band Hey Geronimo he also played triple j’s esteemed segment Live A Version.
In the live arena, he’s toured Australia multiple times and completed his debut UK tour. Pluto has also supported Australian mainstays Ball Park Music, The Jungle Giants, Cub Sport, Bluejuice and The Delta Riggs, amongst many others.
Pluto Jonze’s sophomore record ‘Awe’ is out Friday November 5. PRE-ORDER HERE
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With thanks to Good Intent