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"Plants Behind Glass"
Christopher Smith’s singing voice is petal-soft, but the sentiments he’s evoking undoubtedly
take root in your psyche. On Love Writes Itself, the second full-length from his Dralms project,
the Europe-by-way-of-Vancouver singer-songwriter abstracts evergreen topics of loss and longing.
Lead single, "Plants Behind Glass", pairs smooth vocals with a percussive track and groove-driven bass.
On top of splitting synth and guitar duties with Vogel, an untold richness emanates through Smith’s vocals throughout Love Writes Itself. The artist admits that the sessions at Vogel’s studio— as well as a pair of songs recorded with Shook producer Jonathan Raham at Afterlife Studio—are some of his most candid performances yet.
Shook’s electronics-spiked aesthetic often left his tender tenor cocooned in a Novocaine cloud of reverb and delay. Here, Smith’s vocals are especially up-close-and-personal,
lips pressed closely against a microphone guard as he navigates the naivety of new love (“Plants Behind Glass”), confronts ego (“Precious Flower”), and comes to terms with
loss (“Monet in Black and White”).
Slyly hinted it via introductory instrumental piece “Flower Theme”, Love Writes Itself connects its lyrical content through Smith’s poetic allusions to plant life,
ranging from the near-religious imagery of the “cathedral arches of arbutus trees”
found on B.C’s Gulf Islands, to noting the bleak existence of a vase of flowers trapped behind a window pane.
“There is a lot of flowery, lush dialogue, but there are oppressive visuals
as well,” Smith explains of knotting together the beautiful with the brutal.
“As a visual, flowers can be used in so many different ways—something fragile; something withering away; something that’s been snipped and
kept on display, or something growing freely.”
Dralms’ latest grapples with various levels of love and loss, and the life cycles
we encounter both in nature and our personal lives. “I want that feeling back”
he coos hopefully above synth-bass and symphony strings on “Blush”. After coming to terms with wilted expectations, another experience tends to push up from the soil.
DRALMS - "PLANTS BEHIND GLASS"
Dralms - Plants Behind Glass