Today, Plants and Animals are releasing a brand new single and video for ‘Le Queens’. A French song featuring Adèle Trottier-Rivard on vocals, the theme was inspired by an evening spent in Queens, NY. The new song and video are premiering this morning via Consequence of Sound, alongside an Origins feature about the track, click here to read.The Jungle, their fifth studio album, is set to be released October 23rd via Secret City Records / Remote Control.
The band shares the inspiration behind the song: “Woody got this machine that makes a drum kit play samples and he didn’t know how to use it. But he chopped up some of Warren’s guitar chords and played them with his bass drum anyway. So it all ended up as this wobbly, dreamy jam that we all got attached to. Nic wrote most of the lyrics in the lineup at Home Depot. They’re about an evening in Queens, dancing among strangers, time moving backwards in slow motion and falling in love.”
The music video, directed by Yann-Manuel Hernandez, features Quebec’s acclaimed singer-songwriter Michel Rivard. The director shares the creative process and context of this unexpected moment: “Le Queens is a tribute to the Quebec cinema of the 60s and 70s, to the Nouvelle Vague, to Groulx, to Quebec waking up, to the love that persists in spite of everything, to life’s free spirit and its craziness. The band got totally on board and we even managed to create a little show in an alleyway in Montreal to capture documentary moments of life. This atypical side is also reflected in the idea of adding an outro to the music video with Michel Rivard, founder of Beau Dommage, who re-enacts an emblematic scene from the Nouvelle Vague: Rivard plays Devos, Spicer plays Belmondo.”
The Jungle starts with electronic drums that sound like insects at night. A whole universe comes alive in the dark. It’s beautiful, complex and unsettling. Systematic and chaotic. All instinct, no plan. Voices taunt, “yeah, yeah, yeah”. This tangled time in which we find ourselves is reflected back in shadows.
Every song is such a landscape. The first one grinds to a halt and you become a kid looking out a car window at the moon, wondering how it’s still on your tail as you speed past a steady blur of trees. You watch a house go up in a yellow strobe that echoes the disco weirdness of Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer and David Bowie. You get pummeled by a rhythm then set free by a sudden change of scenery—the wind stops, clarity returns. You’re under a streetlight in Queens, soft focus, slow motion, falling in love. You speak French now too, in case you didn’t already. Bienvenue.
These are personal experiences made in a volatile world, and they reflect that world right back at us, even by accident. There’s one song Nic sings to his teenage son who was dealing with climate change anxiety and drifting into uncharted independence. The band carries it out slowly together into a sweet blue horizon. Warren wrote the words to another shortly after losing his father. It’s about the things we inherit not necessarily being the things we want. In a broader sense, that’s where a lot of people find themselves right now.
Plants and Animals are an iconic Montreal-based trio that began playing together as kids and emerged on the international scene in 2008 with Parc Avenue. The band has developed a varied cult following ever since, built on the shoulders of their self-produced records and their intense live shows. Parc Avenue was a critically acclaimed record (Pitchfork8/10) released during the famous Montreal-is-the-new-Seattle music moment. This release set Plants and Animals as an incredible live force, a powerful songwriting trio and opened doors for them to tour the world many times over with people like Portugal. The Man, Gnarls Barkley and more. Three other releases followed and kept the band’s status up high: La La Land (2010) “they’re complicated and gorgeous [songs] and feel as innate as desire itself.” (PasteMagazine), The End of That (2012) “vibrant, constantly rewarding” (Spin) and Waltzed in from the Rumbling (2016) “… the strike rate is remarkably high” ★★★★ (Q Magazine). The band was shortlisted (2008) and longlisted (2010) for the Polaris Music Prize and received multiple Juno Awards and ADISQ Awards nominations over the years.