Solidarity, the new collaborative LP between Joel Plaskett (arguably the East Coast's biggest-ever indie star) and his father Bill (who has a formidable legacy in his own right as the cofounder of Nova Scotia's Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival), is a joyous family affair and a must own release for fans of both artists' genres. By turns playful and melancholy, it merges Celtic folk with indie rock, and showcases the beautifully shared vision between a father and his son.
Both Plasketts' passion and prowess are evident throughout, but one of the album's most compelling aspects is how it shows the sharp contrasts in their approaches. The Joel-helmed "Up in the Air," for instance, boasts immersive, full-bodied production, and couldn't sound more different than Bill's skeletal acoustic playing on "Jim Jones."
Their lyrical styles are also distinct. On "Blank Cheque," Joel gets loquacious about a greedy plutocrat that "sips his gin and tonic while the world goes microphonic"; "Help Me Somebody Depression Blues" finds Bill delivering succinct lines like, "Some blues were in the room, tried to sweep 'em out but couldn't find a broom." The ways in which they sing those lines are also night and day, Bill's being husky yet tender while Joel's soars and swoons with unencumbered youthfulness.
But rather than clash, the Plasketts instead balance each other out. The acoustic Celtic instrumentation under Joel's vocals on "The New California" and "Blank Cheque" give a vintage tinge to his typically indie leanings, while the slickly produced percussion on "No Sight Compares" and "Help Me Somebody Depression Blues" make for a dynamic contrast with Bill's time-honoured singing. (Pheromone)