Plants and Animals Plants and Animals

It’s quite reasonable to assume they got the band name quite right, as there is a decidedly outdoor, lounging-in-the-sun feel to these mini-epics. Mostly happy letting the songs go where they may, then reining them in tightly for some awe-inspiring endings, Montreal, QC’s Plants and Animals revel in their jazz-inspired post-rock. The most relaxed, jazzy piece has to be the opener, "Boyfriends and Girlfriends,” which ambles along until the guitar and sax kick it in to high gear, but then easily drifts away in some easy sax flights of fancy. The post-modern "Thundergongs” finds its inspiration in the mixing and matching of disparate styles, but it’s done quite breezily and subtly, like current indie darlings Les Mouches. Veering away from the structured chaos, "I Am Working Man” starts quietly but confidently works its way to being akin to Mark Kozelek’s newest single, with haunting strings, driving acoustic guitar, heavy drums and a buoyant mood, maybe similar to walking around one’s yard barefoot. Although the music switches between free form and major chords, Plants and Animals charm and inspire through their summery moods. Think of it as watching the grass grow, but in a healing way. (Independent)