Lower Plenty = Bright Eyes + Elliot Smith
The Aussie quartet Lower Plenty seem to muster up some characteristically American blues tones in Hard Rubbish. Recorded solely on eight-track reel-to-reel tape, the album has a very raw but warming feel, despite its overwhelming melancholia. Soft-spoken lyrics are layered with sweet melodies and swells of guitar fuzz, making the short and simple two-minute tracks complex and shifting. “Strange Beast” features light and airy acoustic guitar, droned-out vocals and a sweet topping of harmonies courtesy of Sarah Heyward, whose smoky vocals reminds me of Feist or a less upbeat Tilly and the Wall. “Grass” evokes tremendous emotions through the rise and fall of guitar and percussion, showcasing Heyward’s sweetly subdued vocals. The tracks average two minutes, but are never boring due to the variation in vocal harmonies and the overall homemade feel.