Thelma Plum makes simple yet beautiful pop music. All the jagged edges disappear and you have a nicely framed collection of well-produced and tightly written music. It sticks close to the formula but at the same time introduces and hints at a bigger and bolder potential hidden underneath the simplicity of it all. I had the pleasure of experiencing Thelma’s music for the first time via her newly released EP “Rosie” and it served as the perfect soundtrack to what feels like the first rays of Saturday Sunshine I’ve seen for a while.
Once I got past the sweetness of it all I started to indulge in the enjoyment of what is some really well written and arranged pop music. The EP starts with “Around Here” which is an optimistic sunny explosion. The perfect introduction to what’s on offer here and the straight ahead glorious sunshine of it all gives you a reason to remain committed to the unfolding journey. Second track “Father Said” is a beautiful folk stroll through buried memories of a youth just lived and an adult life yet discovered. A slow paddle through the calm waters of spacious finger picked guitar movements, a classic track two. The infectious handclaps of third track “Dollar” birth a delicious pop music sway that has hints of a quirky theme song for a coming of age young adult ABC produced “in the afternoon during the week” television show. It lays down another slice of straight ahead glorious sunshine. The real centrepiece of this EP is without a doubt the drama and gallops of track four “Breathe In Breathe Out” which arrives and plays out like a reflective internal private diary entry. The song moves like a funeral march, a melancholy hymn about the pain of being in love in a modern digital landscape. The string arrangement does justice to the emotional delivery of the vocals. Fifth track “Rosie” is a nice parachute landing after the drama of the previous song helping you land and sink into the lush green grass; it’s an incredibly relaxing song. “Rosie” is by far the strongest song on the EP and it feels like it takes the best of what we’ve heard so far and simplifies it and makes it shake and ache in a way that allows for a deeper resonance. The EP’s final track “King” is another piano creep that serves as the perfect end credits to this movement of music. It is a lovely crescendo that settles into a beautiful silent ending.
The sound of the music on “Rosie” is a very young sound delivered in an adult way. The songs have been carefully arranged and the production is shiny and neat giving the illusion of maturity. Strip that away and you hear the fragility of youth and a musician who is still trying to find her own identity and voice as an artist. Thelma Plum has made a great start at launching her music to the world and it has the kind of pop skills that will (and has) resonated to a larger audience of people. It is music that feels comfortable and you know your place within it as a listener. Thelma Plum has a borderline pop star sound in the Taylor Swift tradition whilst still flirting with the Triple J friendly singer / songwriter shtick. It isn’t a new formula but at the same time this isn’t music designed to challenge or break moulds. It is pop music and a damn fine collection of pop music. Thelma Plum knows what she’s doing and will be a big star. Regardless of the lack of risk, these songs are incredible and will no doubt launch Thelma into the stratosphere of future stars.
7 Cassette Tapes out of 10
By: Dan Newton