For moody sounds that sound like they've been ripped straight from an art-house film, Sydney duo PLGRMS cannot be beaten. Comprised of singer-songwriter Jacob Pearson and multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jonathan Bowden, the group have just released the brooding 'Disappear', their first single since being forced into hiatus in early 2019 due to health issues. To find out more about the band's moody soundscapes and inspirations, we linked up with the Sydney duo to get the scoop on the sounds that shaped PLGRMS.
Patrick Watson – Close to Paradise
Jake: I remember buying this album on a whim and just having no preconceptions about it. I put it in my CD player and it threw me into a dreamlike state instantly. I laid down and when it was over I felt as if I'd just woken up. It's stuck with me ever since. To write anything that can take us somewhere else, that experience is what I enjoy trying to create most.
Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Jono: I realise it's probably not a "cool" record to have, but A Rush Of Blood To The Head is an album that I know has impacted both Jake and I. From a melodic and harmonic standpoint, the influence of early Coldplay on my writing is undeniable. It's an album that doesn't overplay its hand, reveling in the joy of a simple, graceful melody... and for me, melody is king!
Beach House – Teen Dream
Jake: Singing the first melody that comes into my head is very hit and miss but there are some melodies that will continuously go around in my head like a carousel. That's pretty much this whole album. I love finding emotion in such ordinary words, or a carousel melody that is never in the way of the soundscapes.
The Postal Service – Give Up
Jono: Being the child of a music teacher, my formative years were spent learning piano, guitar, bass... Essentially "real" instruments (for lack of a better word). Having been a fan of Ben Gibbard through his work with Death Cab for Cutie, I stumbled across his side project The Postal Service. Their debut record Give Up was one of the first to open my eyes to the wonderful world of electronic music. It probably hasn't held up as well as other records in the same vain, but there's no denying its impact on the evolution of my musical journey.
Jack Garratt – Phase
Jono: This is the most recently released album in this list and incidentally, has probably had the most direct influence on PLGRMS' sound of the five records. When I first heard Phase, I was taken with Jack's blending of the organic and electronic. The juxtaposition of bluesy, folksy melodies against buzzing basses and woozy synths sucked me in immediately.
PLGRMS' new single 'Disappear' is out on all major streaming services now.