Artist Spotlight

Review: Planes on Paper, “The East End Session”

No Comments 9 March 2014

Review: Planes on Paper, “The East End Session”

“With The East End Session, Planes on Paper have introduced a potent set of songs that brim with life, love and lessons learned. This EP is quiet but mighty.”

Artist: Planes on Paper

EP: The East End Session

Genre: Folk

RIYL: The Swell Season, Damien Rice, Gregory Alan Isakov, Josh Ritter

Planes on Paper

Perhaps it was the cold Seattle rain drizzling onto the window panes to blame but when the first few notes of The East End Session filled my speakers the warmth that emanated out filled me up and cut right through the gray outside. Planes on Paper is comprised of acoustic songwriting and singing duo Navid Eliot and Jen Borst. The result of this new project from old bandmates has produced a completely no frills set of four songs - recorded live at The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima - that are nothing short of wonderful.

When you hear two voices singing in harmony that are so completely tuned into each other, and I mean tuned into the most minute details of phrasing and dynamics, there is a special sort of magic that happens. “Day Alone” is enchanting, and quite lengthy at 5:01 compared to the other three offerings. The stark nature of the song combined with simple melody and unabashedly truthtelling lyrics (“to be honest in this way / is to admit that every part we had to play / in part was full of lines we couldn’t say”) make this a stunner of a song and a hell of an introduction to a talented duo.

“Wolves” is filled with a sweet melancholy, delivered with a deft touch and another less-is-more vocal approach. “Zero Winter” feels and sounds more traditional, slightly dark and tidal. Again, that give and take between the two vocalists works to create an unspoken undercurrent of tension. This track, then, is the negative to the positively alluring “Zero Summer,” lighter in its approach and more hopeful if not resigned in its tone. The truth is, I could listen to these four songs all day long; and nearly did. Both Navid and Jen have very distinct voices with affectations and phrasing that on their own I’m sure are quite good, but together equal more than the sum of their parts.

With The East End Session, Planes on Paper have introduced a potent set of songs that brim with life, love and lessons learned. This EP is quiet but mighty. It showcases the power of a well-formed lyrical voice and a vocal performance that has been shaken down to its core. Navid and Jen have a captured magic between them, and the result is a truly beautiful musical partnership.


Planes on Paper on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/planesonpaper

 

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