By Nick Moorhead
Plumerai is a long-running, Somerville-based band that has been gaining an increasing amount of attention following the release of their new LP, Mondegreen.
At the Trident Booksellers and Cafe in Boston, I was able to speak with the magnificent vocalist of Plumerai, Eliza Brown. Eliza spent twenty minutes instructing me on the theory of the album Mondegreen. A “mondegreen” is a misinterpretation of a statement, in this case, “Lady Mondegreen” instead of “laid him on the green.” Another example is my uncle mishearing the Four Tops’ Bernadette as “Burned to Death.”
The concept behind Mondegreen was her excuse for not discussing her lyrics explicitly, which I was interested in discussing. One of her songs on the new record is titled Cannibal Ladies. I was wondering whether the song is autobiographical, and if so would I be surviving our interview?
Plumerai’s lyrics are evocative, and suggest multiple interpretations. They are sometimes hindered by Eliza Brown’s grasp of the English language, resulting in a few clunky phrases (there are only so many ways to interpret the phrase “the first good-looking prick I could accessorize”). However, there are also some beautiful moments that you can find in someone who grew up speaking another language but learned to speak English in a very formal way.
Hailing from France, Brown has an idealized vision of America that is inspirational. She also shared that it is her fantasy to be a famous jazz singer like Ella Fitzgerald, and effuses that she is living the American Dream.
The record Mondegreen speaks to an early career creative spike of Brown’s, full of catchy hits such as Troubled Soul and Marco Polo. Marco Polo evokes shoegaze favorite Slowdive’s Allison, and shades of Is This It? By The Strokes.
Mondegreen is the musical equivalent of Silver Linings Playbook, unapologetically bi-polar, unanimously excellent. The idea behind the record is that we hear not what is actually said, but instead what we would like to hear; I don’t know if that is true, but if it is, I would like to hear more Plumerai.
Catch these psychedelic pop phenoms at Radio, Saturday, April 27, 379 Somerville Ave.