Canberra’s EDEN PLENTY gets pretty Vacant for balladeering label debut ‘If I Stay’

Canberra artist review: Eden Plenty by Vince Leigh

Eden Plenty got his start appearing at local shows and busking around Canberra. He has since honed his skills, bolstered his profile, and recently signed to Vacant Room Records. Fans of the incomparable Jeff Buckley, and perhaps to an even greater degree, his father Tim, take heed—If I Stay is sure to please your refined tastes.

With If I Stay, Eden eschews the more commonplace (and, let’s be honest here) overdramatic and exhausting characteristics of any number of contemporary sensitive balladeers of heartbreak. Instead, he presents a more substantially coherent, intense, and rarefied strain of communication.

For starters, Eden’s voice travels at just the right speed throughout. It’s measured, understated, and striving for an emotional temperature that’s not only relatable but disarming. The rawness that forgoes over-top melodic sap cuts deeper and further, reflecting just how intimacy works. That is, in the detail, the nuances, and the exploration of personal cliffs and edges.

But Eden’s voice does rise towards the end, fittingly, creating a subtle crescendo that ends with a muted, almost resigned delusory digestif:

Maybe you’ll call if I stay awake.

Eden Gives Plenty besides vocals

Eden Plenty

It’s not just Eden Plenty’s unthawing and ensnaring performance that pushes this track into a category all its own. It’s accompanying array of sounds.

An equally sober and unpretentious production manages to blend acoustic and electric guitars, strings, stripped-back rhythms and layered background vocals with firm clarity and a considered sense of dynamics. If I Stay works for all the reasons above, an aggregate that transfers the realistically untransferable.

It also works for other more technical aspects. This includes the verse’s chord progression and the circular aspect of the chorus with its sustained tag.

Eden Plenty has created a Canberra-bred contemporary record from another time. It merges yesterday’s long-lost sorrows to a new artist’s freshly illumined kind. The result is worth every listen.

Hear If I Stay now via triple j Unearthed

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