Are you in need of that intensely emotional music experience? Were you left feeling bereft when Death Cab for Cutie became mainstream and prosaic? Well then my friends, The Rosebuds’ new album Loud Planes Fly Low is what you’ve been searching for. Heart wrenching from beginning to end, this is not only “the fix” you’ve been looking for, but also quite possibly the peak of The Rosebuds’ abilities.
Loud Planes Fly Low is the break-up album of 2011. To fully appreciate the beauty within, a little bit of back-story is necessary. The Rosebuds are a husband and wife duo hailing from North Carolina. Over the course of four albums they went from cutesy Indie Pop darlings to a heartfelt, yet danceable sensation, with 2007’s Night of Furies. Even though 2008’s Life Like was treading water with their sound, it showed a band coming to grips with maturation, blending their new, slicker sound with the infectious pop hooks of their older material.
Since then, a lot has happened in their personal lives. Husband and wife separated, with Kelly Crisp moving to New York. Being ½ of the core members, this upset left the band in a state of limbo—where to go from here? Could the band still continue even though the marriage had failed? They decided to give it a go and with stops and starts a-plenty, they managed to use this album as an outlet for their feelings since separation, saying all the things in song they could never say when it mattered most to their marriage.
“I need you now, for the last time,” singer Ivan Howard coos in the second track, “Limitless Arms.” Third track, “Second Bird of Paradise” wafts hazily through the atmosphere like an aural cousin of Radiohead’s “Talk Show Host” as he paints images of her as she “floats like a bird in the canopy.” Kelly takes her first turn as lead vocalist in “Come Visit Me” as she delivers the painful but all-too familiar sentiment of “come visit me out here, I need you to see me, even if it makes it worse.” It’s a feeling anyone going through a breakup can relate to–the tumultuous, conflicting emotions waylaying any sense of logic. Ivan voices his uncertainty in “Without Focus” as he laments that he doesn’t know how he’s supposed to feel.
The miraculous and wonderful thing about all of the spilling of emotions throughout this album is that never once does it feel juvenile, unfocused or forced. They manage to convey the intimate emotions of their relationship in way that not only feels mature but also universally relatable. It’s a thin line to walk with these sorts of sentiments, but they do a wonderful job of it. Perhaps to not overwhelm folks from the get-go, single “Woods” talks in more veiled metaphors about burning down the pines and everyone being “so high.” The atmosphere of the song is slightly unnerving, yet oddly euphoric at the same time. Not the instantly gratifying single “Get Up Get Out” was, but infinitely more rewarding with repeat listens and one of the more interesting singles of the year.
By the time final track “Worthwhile” graces your ears, you can practically hear the tears in his eyes as he sings to her that he “wants to make it all worthwhile” as he sends her a box of their things, just so she’ll have something to remind her of them, it’s hard not to be gutted. But their pain and loss is the music world’s gain, for in all of the heartbreak they’ve managed to craft the album of their careers. This set of songs sees their skills as musicians and lyricists fully realized in ways only hinted at before. If dedication and sincerity determined sales, Loud Planes Fly Low would be on the bestsellers list all year.
By Jarad MatulaThe Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low by issuemaker