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Exploring Hope and Resilience: Plastic Barricades' 'We Stayed Indoors' Echoes Pandemic's Reflections

Plastic Barricades' New Album 'We Stayed Indoors': A Harmonious Blend of Resilience and Reflection

Plastic Barricades' latest album, "We Stayed Indoors," emerges as a beacon of reflection and optimism in the current climate of uncertainty and introspection. The London-based indie rock band, led by singer-songwriter Dan Kert, presents their third full-length record as a melodic journey through the human psyche, exploring themes of hope, mental health, courage, and the ephemeral nature of existence.

Drawing inspiration from Seattle alt-rock icons Death Cab for Cutie, the album's title is a nod to their 2001 song "We Laugh Indoors." This homage sets the tone for an album deeply rooted in contemporary issues, particularly the isolation and introspection brought about by the global pandemic. Each of the 10 tracks serves as a vignette, painting vivid pictures of life's complexities and the human condition's resilience.

The album's musical landscape is rich and varied, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Sheffield-based drummer Chris Barber, Berlin-based singer Aellie Coto, and singer-songwriters Luke Joyce and John Sibley. The production, helmed by Tom Hill at Bookhouse Studios and mastered by Andy "Hippie" Baldwin at Metropolis Studios, is pristine, allowing each song to breathe and resonate with the listener.

The band's long-time art director Elina Pasok's award-winning "one-take" music video for "Counting Fireworks" is a testament to the album's visual and auditory innovation. The use of stop-motion techniques in the "For the Brave" video and advancements in neural networks and text-to-image algorithms in other tracks like “Lucid in the Fall,” “Tallest Trees,” and “Second-hand Dreams” further accentuates the band's creative vision.

Lyrically, the album delves into the depths of the human experience. From the introspective and haunting melodies of the title track "We Stayed Indoors" to the uplifting rhythms of "For the Brave," each song is a narrative in itself, reflecting on past regrets and future anxieties while encouraging a perspective shift towards living in the moment.

"For the Brave" is an ambient opener which quickly develops into full production. Soft Rock through and through, in the form of a Lofi dream with clean guitar tones. “Lucid in the Fall” and “Second-hand Dreams” stand out for their poignant lyrics and melodic intricacies, showcasing Kert's songwriting prowess and the band's musical versatility. "Forever is Made of Nows" showcases a folk influence, whilst keeping to clean tones and mindful lyrics.

Things speed up through "Counting Fireworks", "Place to Hide" and, "Lucid in the Fall" where speedy pop rock comes into full force.

The album will resonate with those who are familiar with the band's previous works, "Mechanics of Life" (2017) and "Self-Theories" (2020), but also appeal to new listeners seeking solace and understanding through music. What makes this so appealing is the mix of tempos and the distinct inclusion of rock variety. There's synth indie rock, pop rock, acoustic rock and pop rock. A beautiful collection!

For those seeking hopeful songs in a seemingly hopeless world, "We Stayed Indoors" is a must-listen.

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