Indie-electro duo (trio with veiled electric producer Ross James) PLGRMS formed a few years ago in Sydney, with Jacob Pearson as the artist/singer/songwriter and Jonathan “Jono” Bowden collaborating the songwriting and multi-instrumentals.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of their smash singles Pieces (2015), 2016’s Fools & Their Gold and Gemini, and latest April release Dream You Up. Pearson, who used to be a solo musician before Bowden recruited him off YouTube, has found that “there’s a lot less pressure from the industry, and more pleasure when you have a team of people and it’s collaborative rather than it just being a solo thing.”
The boys work incredibly well collaboratively, bouncing fresh ideas and personal experiences off each other to inspire their sounds. Although at times subjectivity of experiences can challenge the formation of a song, the duo navigates this hitch with ease. “100% of us goes into it, but it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing when it comes from your own subjective experience,” Pearson explains. “So we prefer to break the tasks up. Jono will send an idea and I can send back what I feel works melody-wise, and then Ross will turn it into an electronic rhythm… It’s a trio of creative minds.”
PLGRMS’ Dream You Up translates to a feeling we can all relate to; the excitement behind the mystery of a new relationship, and the potential for disappointment when reality strikes. Even the single cover – an abstract fusion of baby pink, black and white – represents these conflicting feelings of unknowability, confusion, lust, love and disappointment. Pearson “literally just altered an old image on an iPhone of some paint within a bucket and used Adobe Photoshop to play with the colours.” The creative mind behind the video clip is Stephen Smith, whom Pearson says “is a pleasure to share the creative process with. He captured the mood of the song so well.”
The single actualises much of what Pearson described earlier. He was feeling conflicting emotions about a new relationship and sought Bowden’s advice on a way to channel these feelings into a song. “The lyrics in Dream You Up came from an experience when I thought someone was very intriguing and all of a sudden I got to know them and the mystery disappeared. So it’s about learning to keep my distance so things remain interesting. The mysteries in life are a good thing. It’s about forcing yourself to try not to understand it and keep someone, or something as enigmatic as possible, for as long as possible,” says Pearson.
The tune triggered an unexpected reaction amongst dedicated fans with the ‘vastly different’ sounds to previous tracks as it encompasses a faster, more vibrant electronic and drum undertone intertwined with graceful piano chords and bold vocals. Pearson explains, “I think Dream You Up kind of caught people off guard, but in a good way, as they didn’t really expect the sound they were hearing which was so different to our other tracks. But people surprisingly liked it. They’ve said ‘I wasn’t expecting to hear that, but amazing job!’”
After their recent April tour PLGRMS are full of inspiration and plan to release an EP in the (hopefully very) near future, oozing with some delicious new sounds which will be “a fusion of what we had in the past and Dream You Up.”