Plastic Mermaids perfect the digital pastoral on Suddenly Everyone Explodes

Suddenly Everyone Explodes Plastic MermaidsPlastic Mermaids have performed a magic trick. In one odd, meandering album, they’ve turned the epic into something very intimate. Only through the enchanted vision of this Isle of Wight 5-piece could a jug of milk tip into regret and love, or a computer screen flicker with stars taken straight from the night sky. Suddenly Everyone Explodes makes the ordinary feel magical. These aren't the kind of songs that smash their way into your psyche - Plastic Mermaids deliver their music on a gentler wavelength - but getting to know the curious corners of this album is a journey worth setting out on, and there are plenty of treasures to collect along the way.

There’s a touch of the mad scientist to Plastic Mermaids creations. Much of the kit used in the recording of the album owes its existence to band member Jamie and his beloved soldering iron. When picturing the band’s hand-built studio, what comes to mind is one of those childhood garden sheds that turns into a spaceship and takes you to the moon. It’s no surprise Suddenly Everything Explodes includes tracks like “Floating In A Vacuum” and “Throwing Stones At The Moon”.

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Beneath the sci-fi fantasising and playful meditations on outer space though, there’s a more serious focus on technology and its all-consuming, digital, dazzling aura in Plastic Mermaids’ songwriting. “Tell me where computer ends and you begin,” asks the voice of “1996”, grappling with the empty tech echo of pixel-parcelled communication. Maybe we are all living the ‘Unhappy Tamagotchi’ life the band delicately narrates in plinking, xylophone whispers. Negotiating the tangled wires of intimacy and technology is certainly a task we can all relate to, but Plastic Mermaids make it feel less daunting when they wrap it up in their soft, compelling melodies: “Open up your mind, you're so alive, you're not just a beautiful robot."

And when it comes to matters of love, Plastic Mermaids are no less gentle. “Yoyo”, the swaying anthem at the centre of Suddenly Everything Explodes, is a grenade full of feathers. The agony of unrequited love has never before felt so much like getting tucked into bed. Still, the spoken word track delivers it’s own kind of darts. “I’m a card you’ll never play," a line that cuts direct to the heart, saving all the silly gore for another time. This is the kind of detail that Suddenly Everything Explodes deals so well in. With each song it becomes more obvious: real feelings are declared in little glances, not grand gestures. 

Release: 24th May 2019, Sunday Best Recordings  

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