For the past five years Peter Plank has worked as a live and studio musician in St. Louis, Missouri. He has played guitar and bass for a myriad of artists. He soon got an itch to make his own music which seems quite normal to me. In 2013 he released an EP entitled White Diamonds which contained five songs. Plank followed up with a seven-song LP entitled Never Strangers in 2016.
He collaborated with a couple of other instrumentalists as well as vocalists. The results are very well produced songs with fleshed out instrumentation that is somewhere between alternative and folk. Up first is “Everything Beautiful (18).” The first thing that got my attention were the guitars. I really enjoyed how warm they sounded with just about the perfect amount of reverb. The picking pattern was quite beautiful. The guitars weren’t the only instrument that has a warmth to it. I felt like the whole track had a warm glow. The vocals were delivered well with catchy melodies. Great opener.
Up next is “I Will Hold You” which is another success. The drums really keep the song feeling upbeat. There are orchestral strings on this track but they are used sparingly. The song is also quite dynamic making it that much more engaging.
“Collide” starts off with a female vocalist. However about a minute in the male lead is introduced as well. It is one of the more emotionally resonant songs. There is a nostalgic quality to it and it feels very atmospheric partly due to the fact that there are percussive elements. “All You Need” felt like a pretty straightforward rock song while “Fire” contains a fantastic vocal performance.
“Maybe I’m Wrong” has an intimate singer/songwriter vibe to it. The title track felt like an appropriate closer. It gets more intense as it progresses leading to an epic crescendo.
Never Strangers is a great sounding album with well-written songs. Plank isn’t reinventing the wheel with this style but when the songs sound this good it doesn't matter much.
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