Plaitum

Constraint

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AllMusic Review by

Producer Paul Epworth's (Adele, London Grammar) own label, Wolf Tone, boasts quite the eclectic roster since it launched in 2012. One of its signees, the Colchester-based alt-pop duo Plaitum, deliver hazy electronica that both chills and allures here on their first full-length, Constraint. Following their eponymous 2015 EP, the effort is composed of thudding beats, skittering hi-hats, towering synths, and lyrics that traverse love, loss, and seduction. The first three tracks, "Reeling," "Woeful," and "Jagwa," consist of solid and rigid pop song structures laced with hypnotic and fuzzy, resonant synths that punch through relentlessly. Each track also presents a varied layer of manipulated, synthetic sounds that add weight to the mix. An impressive album, Abigail Dersiley's vocals meld well with Matt Canham's icy-cold production work and an ideal move was having the record segmented by two atmospheric interludes, which makes sense when its revealed that the album’s concept revolves around a toxic and exploitative relationship, told from different points of view. The interludes also placate the aural onslaught evident within the first section of the album, making way for hefty slices of upbeat electro-pop such as "Slave Red Stag" as its centerpiece and slow-burners such as "Sway" and "Still in the Water" for its final acts.

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