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Preview: Plantain at Blank Club

In Music
James Fenwicke brings his band Plantain to the Blank Club Wednesday.

James Fenwicke brings his band Plantain to the Blank Club Wednesday.

It’s been almost a year since James Fenwicke and the rest of the original Mumlers lineup parted ways with singer-songwriter Will Sprott. So far, life after the Mumlers hasn’t been a bad thing for Fenwicke. It’s meant that Plantain, a side project of his since 2008, now gets his full attention.

“It’s freed up quite a bit of time. So much energy was going into the Mumlers for a while,” Fenwicke says.

Already Plantain has finished recording and mixing their debut album, Fall of a Candy Empire, something that had been on hold for years because Fenwicke’s time was so full juggling work and the Mumlers’ busy schedule.

Plantain’s album is all set to release just as soon as they duplicate it on vinyl. They launched a kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund the duplication costs and have almost reached their goal. Now there’s even talk of a Plantain tour this summer.

“I think people don’t take bands seriously till you have a recording,” Fenwicke says.

People only familiar with Fenwicke through the Mumlers might be surprised at what a departure Fall of a Candy Empire is from that band’s sound. That’s because Sprott and Fenwicke are two totally different kinds of songwriters.

“Will’s songwriting tends to draw off of more traditional blues and less from free-form experimental indie rock or experimental bands,” Fenwicke says.

Sprott’s interest in early American music is obvious in his songs, though he mixes up his influences in a totally unique, creative way. Fenwicke, on the other hand is all over the map with a much hazier combination of influences. There are elements of 60s psychedelic pop (like Zombies and Beatles), weird drug-addled rock and roll (Lou Reed), lazy ’90s DIY indie rock (Pavement), ’70s power pop (Alex Chilton) and bits of early Americana and country tossed in the mix. It’s a big blend of anything-goes rock and roll.

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