With ‘First & Foremost,’ prolific songwriter Plested demonstrates that he’s got his own story to tell in alluringly magnificent fashion.
As the name of the project suggests, First & Foremost (released December 6, 2018 via NOWHERENEAR Records) offers the listener to an introduction to Plested as an artist; it serves as his eagerly awaited debut project that’s been anticipated by fans since his debut release in 2016. The project showcases Plested as a self-assured artist whose hypnotic lyricism is crammed to the brim with sentimental, resonant emotion. He manages to transform acutely personal stories and emotion into accessible songs that are astonishingly easy to profoundly connect with from a single listen but unfold with further emotional depth on subsequent listens.
Even though Plested may not be a name that immediately resonates with you, it’s more than likely that you’ve loved a song that’s co-written. As well as co-writing Little Mix’s anthemic smash hit “Touch”, he’s co-written for the likes of ZAYN and Kygo. He’s also penned songs for the likes of Emeli Sande, James Morrison and Calum Scott. Listening to First & Foremost makes it astoundingly easy to see why he’s in such high demand.
Stream: ‘First & Foremost’ – Plested
This track offers the first glimpse of the honest, raw lyrical storytelling that makes this entire EP so exceptionally endearing. His assured vocal conveys both affecting vulnerability and deeply-rooted affection as it floats above the minimal yet exquisitely effective instrumentation. As he reflects on the loss of a life-altering love, you sense the striking nostalgic and the gripping duplicity of vivid memories that conjure such powerful euphoric delight and anguished uneasiness. There’s something about the tone of Plested’s voice that’s immediately familiar and captivatingly charming that amplifies the emotional resonance of his cleverly chosen lyricism. Ultimately, the song thoroughly delves into the turbulent bewilderment that distressingly manifests itself after losing someone that effortlessly made you realise what true adoration really feels like.
Worthy of You
The track swiftly chronicles the misery that arises when intense infatuation is met with despondency. As the track unravels its verses painstakingly detail the brutal dejection and sorrow that’s evolved from unreciprocated affection. Held together by a hauntingly catchy chorus, a profound process of introspection develops throughout before culminating in heart-breaking admission of defeat.
Back Up Plan
This track is shortest on the project, clocking in at under 3 minutes, but it’s arguably one of the best. The lyric “Baby it’s a slow dance, at the speed of light” shows Plested’s awe-inspiring ability to craft lyricism that’s astonishingly thought-provoking, providing an expressively vivid snapshot that can be altered to harmonize and interlock with your own emotionally impactful memories. “Back Up Plan” encompasses an engaging aura of wistful romanticism that manages to express undying devotion without the use of overused romantic platitudes that feel deviously disingenuous.
“Ribcage” offers up a perfect portrayal of modern-day dating. Uncertainty, the uneasiness surrounding exposes your vulnerabilities and introspection all feature heavily throughout this track. Towards the end of “Ribcage”, there’s a poignant realisation that one day that obscuring your own feelings as a form of self-protection will feel absolutely unnecessary when you find the right person. This hopeful sentiment flows as subtle an undercurrent to the torrent of bewildered mistrust.
It’s on this track that Plested’s pop sensibilities really shine in beamingly radiant fashion. The track’s chorus is infuriatingly catchy as he details the sort of romantic obsession that feels inescapable. While feelings of pain, hurt and confusion are ever-present throughout the song, there’s a definite understanding, conveyed through the almost euphoric production and whimsical lyricism, that this sort of adoration is ultimately a life-affirming feeling.
Home By Now – Acoustic
After the exciting intoxication of “Your Name”, this acoustic offering serves as the perfect subsequent track. Offering up some of Plested’s most affectionately devoted lyrics, the track electrifies with palpable that serves to illustrate the unparalleled comfort that can be found in the arms of another. Although, this is the only acoustic track on the project it interweaves with the other tracks impeccably by flaunting Plested’s unbelievably astonishing lyricism that could melt even the coldest of hearts.
Easier Said Than Done
The lyrical meaning of this track is perhaps the most ambiguous of any of the tracks on this project and that actually serves as one of the song’s greatest strengths. But it does attempt to unravel the unfathomably arduous process of trying to disentangle yourself from the infatuation and close bond you once felt with someone. The process of detachment often follows the impassioned fixation that Plested so magnificently details in “Your Name”. Although, all the tracks of this track obviously can stand alone as exceptionally singular tracks, their intricate relationship with each other makes this project bewitchingly intriguing.
After an expansive, atmospheric introduction, Plested’s hypnotic voice kicks in, almost flowing above the intricately multi-layered production. This track sounds sonically dissimilar to anything else on the project, which is fitting for the track’s almost bitter sentiment which flutters between contemplative wretched suffering and relishing in the paradoxically life-affirming sensation of pondering something you shouldn’t. It some ways it feels like an omnipresent ode to that sort of adoration that’s so strikingly intense that it destructively renders every other aspect of your life insignificant.
With First & Foremost, Plested displays that he’s got his own story to tell, which he manages to describe in engrossingly absorbing fashion that’s utterly gripping. The way he tackles endless devotion feels firmly grounded in reality yet still delightfully and elegantly fanciful. Throughout this project, he evidences that he’s not afraid to experiment with his sound and this dazzling diversity is held cohesively together by his introspective lyricism and charming vocals. The projects remains distinctly dazzlingly while still delving deeply with exceptional level of authenticity into the complex vulnerabilities and feelings that often serve as a fundamental part of life’s most defining moments.
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