By Christine Leonard
VANCOUVER – Hindsight may be 20/20, but you can bet your boyfriend jeans that ‘90s Halifax popsters Plumtree didn’t anticipate a full-blown vinyl resurgence when they released their bomp-and-strum-filled sophomore album, Plumtree Predicts the Future, way back in 1997. Cinnamon Toast Records was a good fit for the sweetly introspective group, at the time. The existential ensemble quickly blossomed thanks to tours with the likes of Duotang, the Inbreds and Thrush Hermit, along with appearances at Halifax Pop Explosion! and Edgefest that pushed them further into the national spotlight. An original sister-act, Plumtree’s willowy emanations stem from Carla and Lynette Gillis’ (Absolutely Nothing) love of pop-punk melodies and playful rhythms. With Carla on guitars and vocals and Lynette picking up the drumsticks, Amanda Braden stepped up to provide supporting guitar and vocals while BFFs Nina Martin and Catriona Sturton would fill out the East Coast quartet, by respectively taking up the position of bassist.
It was a whirlwind decade for the band who wrote the song “Scott Pilgrim,” which inspired fan Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel and the subsequent film of the same name. Innocent despite their infamy, their kitchen haircuts and Noxzema-fresh faces declared Plumtree’s notable potential and hunger for personal liberty defined the edge of that fading millennium.
An unexpected, but well-deserved, flashback to those carefree days is set to arrive threefold. Thanks to a lavish remastering at Toronto’s Lacquer Channel, all three of Plumtree’s full-length albums are ready to roll off the line in vinyl format for the first time. Mass Teen Fainting (1995), Plumtree Predicts the Future (1997), and This Day Won’t Last At All (2000) have all be immortalized in acrylic and reissued under the auspices of Label Obscura and featuring new artwork by Yorodeo.
You can almost feel the wind in your hair as you travel down memory lane with the Gillis girls’ effortless harmonies, twisted humour and ridiculously catchy love notes echoing in your ears. Though cut short in 2000, Plumtree’s long lost oeuvre will ensure that future generations can cozy up to a career characterized by a cheeky band next-door appeal. As Ferris cautioned, “life moves pretty fast.” More so these days, but once you stop and look around you’ll discover that the biggest challenge ahead will be bringing that record player on your next road trip.Halifax, plumtree, pop