The Pigeon Note has already given much love to bird band Professor Penguin and their singles to date Pilot and Pirate. There is little to fault the rest of their debut album Planes either and in a cute, but extreme case of alliteration, every track title also begins with a P.
Given that there are nine members of Professor Penguin, Planes presents a surprisingly delicate sound. Comparisons to Bombay Bicycle Club find credence in tracks like Power Plants and Puzzle Pieces. Yet at the same time these tracks possess, paradoxically, a greater simplicity and grandeur than Bombay Bicycle Club‘s sound. Stripped back instrumentals are interspersed with regal trumpets and choir harmonies in Power Plants and orchestral outbreaks in Puzzle Pieces.
Abraham’s vocals, though softly spoken, are dominant throughout the album. Most notable in tracks like Past and Planes 1, where only patterings of noise provide a gentle back drop. The songwriting in Planes is also thoughtful and emotive. From the confusion portrayed in Past through the lyrics ‘It makes me think that you want to go to come back, not to go, not to go’, to the hopefulness of Present, aided by the transition of time.
The weightier sounds of Pirate are continued in Planes 2, with its funk rhythm and Punch-Up echoes the electronic flutters of Pilot. These tracks give us a taste of the equally great sounds Professor Penguin could create if all nine members shunned their characteristic restraint and let loose.
This near to perfect debut is all the more impressive when it comes across in the effortless manner in which Planes does.
You can listen to Planes in full on soundcloud here.