Fiver Lost the Plot

Fiver Lost the Plot
7
After rising from the ashes of One Hundred Dollars with engaging psych four-piece the Highest Order, it was only a matter of time before lead singer/songwriter Simone Schmidt emerged with another vehicle for her gut-wrenching tales of tragedy and deliverance. Lost The Plot (the debut solo full-length from Schmidt under the Fiver moniker) showcases her murky slices of life, told with the unflinching honesty of a transient. The sparse arrangements come off sounding tender and delicate, as does the wisdom Schmidt imparts. Sure, it's often masked by a third-party narrator, yet as Schmidt moves forward without the backing of one of her trusty bands, she's masterfully exposing the vulnerability that comes with stepping out on her own and placing the utmost confidence in her songwriting. Her voice, which is as haunting as ever, manages to rumble with an impending fury. This gives verve to the strong mid-section of the record, most notably "Smoke & Steam." She receives support, at times, from past bandmates Paul Mortimer and Kyle Porter. Front and centre, however, is Schmidt's otherworldly guitar — the kind if heard alone in a rural environment would have you quivering in the dark — and a voice, now one of the pre-eminent in Canada, which warbles with a strange, beautiful pride in the darkest hours. On Lost The Plot, Simone Schmidt is walking alone for the first time and her sentiments are nearly palpable. This is her second collection of songs in a year; with the catalogue she surely has in her back pocket, it likely won't be long until we get an update on how the lonely road has been treating her. (Triple Crown)