I pretty much listen to music non-stop while I’m working. I always say that when I’m listening to a record that keeps me from concentrating 100% on my work (hello, boss!), it is a sign of a great album. It can happen within the few minutes or even halfway through the record, but it has almost never proven wrong. I must say that with Jet Plane, I had great troubles concentrating from the very first few minutes of the album.
RELEASE DATE: 10 November 2016 LABEL: Fluttery Records
At first, there is noise. Noise with a soft melody, shy and not quite sure of itself. And then comes a violin—a beautiful and harmonic violin that gives direction and overall meaning to Roots, the first track of the album. As the first listen goes by, we notice that Jet Plane is a band that likes to play back and forth with our feelings. They don’t take the usual pattern of building a song up to an epic climax, but rather build multiple climaxes within each song, each of them going harder and harder in intensity. This intensity is multiplied by the use of unusual instruments, which give a unique touch to the band’s work and keep the listener from drifting away. Whether it is a violin, bagpipes or nyckelharpa, Jet Plane don’t introduce those instruments as gimmicks or plug them here and there on the album, but they naturally arrange the songs in harmony with whatever instruments they choose to include in it.
Sometimes, a band produces an album which is perfectly coherent. A piece of art takes form with each and every song perfectly blending together, and the listener has a hard time figuring out which song is which as they are totally moved by the music. Other times, a handful of songs demand attention at the core of the album—songs so powerful, so intense, that you need some space in between them to catch your breath and prevent from getting overwhelmed. Jet Plane somehow manages to have both of these aspects on this album. Pipe Dream stands perfectly on its own, as solid as it can be for a third album. But it also shares moments of pure magic and joy: songs like “Days and Lights”, so beautiful that they make you shed a tear. Others, like “Under an Atomic Sky”, perfectly composed and arranged, that compel the listener to kneel down in front of such powerful instrumental mastering.
There are also some delicious and off-beat moments here and there on Pipe Dream. I give particular attention to “I Hate You Too” every time I play the album; a song that has a groove and a feeling that joyfully contrast with its title. At just under 4 minutes, it is the shortest song on the album, but it brings as much to the table as any other tracks on the album. Like previously mentioned, Jet Plane manages to get something special out of everything they compose. There isn’t any filler, but just smooth transitions, equally innovative and interesting as any other songs.
In the past couple of years, Russia has been for me the number one country in terms of post-rock music. If you ask me about my favorite recently released records, bands like April Rain, Winds with Hand, or 417.3 spontaneously come to mind. They all have in common this unique capacity to be extremely loud and extremely melodic at the same time. They use the full music spectrum to their advantage, and yet find a balance in the middle with complex, emotional and powerful music. It is like the music reflects the extremes of their climate. They convey multiple emotions all at once, and Jet Plane is another band to add to this list of amazing Russian artists.
Emerging from Fluttery Records, home to some of the most interesting bands in post-everything music today (The Seven Mile Journey, Arms of Tripoli, April Rain, 417.3, or Ana Never, just to name a few), Jet Plane is now at the center of this label. However, if you haven’t heard of this label yet, I suggest that Jet Plane’s Pipe Dream would be a fantastic place to start.