With Burn The Plan, a long-awaited new album, Good Lovelies are both fulfilling and defying their so-called musical destiny as a “folk trio.” What makes this Burn The Plan special is that the band’s considerable strengths – winsome songwriting, impeccable vocals, and triangulated charisma – don’t tell the full story. There’s a new spirit of adventurousness that gives Burn The Plan an extra spark the album is permeated with textures and tones from musical worlds away.
The eye-opening “In The Morning” has a delicate electronic touch that is more Postal Service than McGarrigle. “Waiting For You,” the most radio-ready of the collection, is an up-tempo, shimmering keyboard-laced number that would fit comfortably alongside the soft pop throwback of HAIM. Even the old time underpinnings of “Old Fashioned” and “The Doe” have a new polish, confidence and depth.
This time around, the trio has spent time developing, expanding and honing their sound as individual musicians first, and as Good Lovelies second. These new songs were crafted not to ‘fit’ their catalogue per se, but as expressions of individual voices within a tight-knit group dynamic. What keeps the three Lovelies making music together is not just their uncanny musical compatibility it’s their unshakeable friendships, which supports each member contributing to the songwriting in distinct ways.
2011’s Juno-nominated Let The Rain Fall was the last time the Good Lovelies released a full-length studio album. It may not feel so long ago, since the band’s profile has continued to grow with awards, steady and sold-out touring, and a live album in between, but you can do a whole lotta living, loving and letting go in four years. For Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore, four years has been the exact number of hours, moments and experiences needed to take the next step, to burn the plan.