By PJ (Phil) Taylor
Dreamy, beat-driven folk is the nourishing new music produce of Carnivorous Plant Society and they’re known for “cinematic” storytelling, even though they’re not exactly household names.
They should be as their loyal following testifies after four delightful and musically-sophisticated albums over eight years.
Carnivorous Plant Society present a majestic soundscape for the listener’s imagination to run wild. It’s fresh, organic and plentiful, musically-enriching in a garden of goodness. Distinctively modern-era Kiwi music cultivation.
Their leader Finn Scholes describes it as “cinematic”, though he says they’re “starting to sing more” nowadays, after being a tune and playing-led group first, with lyrics and vocals added like instrument parts.
Scholes is a gifted animator as well as being a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, and his nickname Genius is fitting. He’s greatly admired by his peers across Auckland’s and New Zealand’s music and arts community.
He says Carnivorous Plant Society will screen their colourful visual art show while playing their concert at Uxbridge Arts and Culture in Howick on Friday, July 31.
Their most recent album, last year’s The People Below, is a tale of “an unlikely and very wrinkly hero named Shid” and is accompanied by a graphic novel penned by Scholes.
“It explores class inequality in a city trapped in a floating bubble, suspended from an alien’s mouth,” he says.
“It features a small, wretched man and his journey from poverty and despair to wealth, sex and unimaginable luxury.”
Carnivorous Plant Society started out comically describing their style as “Mexican mariachi mixes with spaghetti western; futuristic sci-fi blends with bizarre, spine-chilling nuances drawn from Stephen King novels”.
The music retains those substantial ingredients and has added bags more spice, played out on instruments such as trumpets, violin, vibraphone, tuba, guitar, synthesisers, keyboards, bass and drums, with some occasional whistling.
Carnivorous Plant Society are Finn Scholes (trumpet, keyboards, vocals, vibraphone, marimba and tuba), his brother Tam Scholes (guitar, vocals), Cass Basil (bass, vocals), Siobhanne Thompson (violin, vocals) and Alistair Deverick (drums).
The last time Finn played the Uxbridge Theatre was last year with Hopetoun Brown’s Tim Stewart and Nick Atkinson, who collaborated on The People Below, as well as other super-talents of modern-era Kiwi music, Hollie Fullbrook, Lawrence Arabia, Mimsy Cable, Hayden Eastmond-Mein, Tom Healy, Lisa Crawley and Edward Castello.