Robotanists: Plans in Progress

Robotanists: Plans in Progress
LA rock group, Robotanists have been around for about four years. In those four years, they have released three albums with their latest being Plans in Progress.
The album is produced by Danny Kalb who has previously worked with other strong female artists like Feist and Karen O. One would assume that Kalb has a talent for pulling great performances from female artists so he should be able to do the same for Robotanists’ lead singer, Sarah Ellquist. Ellquist’s voice is probably best compared to a mixture between Karen O and Jenny Lewis. Her vocal performances on Plans in Progress range from wispy, almost downtempo-esque vocals to commanding indie rock vibrato.
The voice is definitely a nice centerpiece to build around but the band needs to fill out around Ellquist just right to accentuate her voice. The album’s opening track “Have We Met Before?” is probably the best on the album. The track opens with an unusual drum beat played on the rim of the snare; the rhythm has a quiet urgency to it. Ellquist’s voice matches the tone by showing delicacy but being forceful enough to get the point across. Behind her voice, an electric guitar plays light arpeggios which are enhanced by an organ playing long, draw-out chords. The song’s volume never increases a great deal but it keeps a steady, consistent energy.
The album has a whole is pretty subdued. It’s not a high energy album nor a high volume album but its chill vibe makes it a pleasant listen. It is hard to praise the album because it does not blow your socks off but its so calming and interesting that you have to admit it really is a good album.
Rating: 8.3/10
MP3: Robotanists “Have We Met Before”
Buy: Bandcamp