Album: The Planes – Dark Matter Recycling Co. & 3 Qs

“The Planes are an indie rock band founded in Brooklyn, NY, back in the summer of 2010 by songwriter, singer, and guitarist Stephen Otto Perry. Since then, Perry has relied on a rotating cast of musicians to craft no-nonsense indie jams of varying levels of excellence. To date, there have been over 25 musicians to perform as members of the band. Currency, the band consists of Don Lavis, the powerful drummer who performed on the upcoming album Dark Matter Recycling Co., and Jackie Peronne, who played bass on 2017’s Wax Diamond.

Through the years, the band has chugged along deep under the surface, earning a rep for deft songwriting, electric live performances, and tight musicianship (occasionally loosened by inebriation). An efficient, well-oiled indie rock machine that has never ridden a bandwagon or chased a trend, they have crafted a voice and vibe that is unmistakably theirs, despite existing in an ultra-crowded genre. With a very small, but very loyal fanbase, The Planes have become favorites at Brooklyn’s more obscure DIY spots (Pet Rescue, EWEL), while occasionally playing bigger shows at spaces like Shea Stadium and the Knitting Factory.

The followup to 2021’s Eternity on Its Edge, The Planes’ new album Dark Matter Recycling Co. was recorded by Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) at Studio G in Brooklyn by Perry, Lavis, and bassist Rob Mellinger. A louder, grungier, more alt-rock inspired album than previous Planes albums, Perry leans into his 90s alterna-teen years for inspiration on fuzz guitar–laden anthems like Freezehead and First Breath After Mask. Of course, the borderline indie pop of Planes past sneaks through in boppers like Thrift Store and Feels Like Years.

Dark Matter Recycling Co. will be available on limited-edition marble vinyl, cassette, streaming, and digital download from Totally Real Records in the US and Safe Suburban Home Records in the UK on 9/15/23.”

This is a really nicely written press release and introduces the band and the album. I do not really have anything to add to this but wanted to say that my two favorite labels are releasing this album: Totally Real Records (US) and Safe Suburban Home Records (UK). I have been following their releases for a while, so whenever something comes up my way, I try to pay closer attention to it. As a blogger, having favorite labels is a great way to stay informed about new releases. It helps me to mark down releases that I really need to listen to. If a band/artist is reading this, please state everywhere the label on which the single or the EP/album is released. It is not only a great promotion for your label, but it helps me decide if I will spend more time with your release. There are hundreds of new releases I can go through, so having some filters is always needed. That being said, if you ever want to write about music, we have a lot of releases that need blog coverage and you could write about them for us. We are always looking for new writers. Just contact us on Instagram.

I rambled a little bit about different topics, but this fuzzy, alternative, indie rock album is something that should not be missed by you. So find that 37+ minutes of your time and listen to it from the beginning to the end. I have done it and I enjoyed it and I bet you will enjoy it too. Another amazing album that should not be missed.

I have also reached out to Stephen and asked him our 3 Qs:

What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?

I grew up on a farm in New England and my parents worked long hours in the summer. Me and the other farm kids were kind of dumped at Nana’s house, where we did whatever, and she very loosely watched over us. She was a church organist so she’d practice a lot, and I always found the sound to be just completely mesmerizing; those whirling, warbly fake pipe organ sounds coming from that contraption with the pedals and bars and dual keyboards. So much mystery and beauty.

I get musical ideas all the time. Mostly when I’m fooling around with an instrument, but sometimes when I’m just walking down the street, on the subway, or whatever. Witnessing that little spark of an idea turn into a song, even if it’s nothing ground-shaking, is really satisfying for me. On another level, writing lyrics has really helped me cope with some tough shit. So, I’ll keep making music because of that joy I get from seeing songs develop, and the need to both express and explore myself emotionally.

What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?

My lack of actual talent is a big challenge. Of course, I never thought it should matter, but I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to looking around the room and feeling like the other front-people could be on American Idol and I’m not fit for karaoke at a suburban dive bar.

What would you dream to do if anything was possible?

I wish that I could end war, end injustices, heal the planet… If I could snap my fingers and do one thing that I think would make a big difference, I’d probably end the Electoral College in the US, and just elect Presidents based on popular vote. I think that really leads to the incredibly divisive red state/blue state nonsense that’s making it hard for us to govern ourselves (and making it hard to be a true force for good in the world).

Perhaps more attainable, I’d love to rent out Studio G in Brooklyn for a month, and just go in there every day and track and track and track until we had the double album of my dreams (which, of course, would be critically panned).

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