Certified maniac Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the USA, despotic leader Kim Jong-un threatened a nuclear war, and former household hero Bill Cosby was outed as a sexual predator: 2017 was a very dark year.
It was in this dystopian world (with a working title of Dismal Imaginary Place deemed too depressing) that Carnivorous Plant Society’s sophomore album The New King was born, simultaneously aspirational and pragmatically nihilistic. With fables penned by bandleader Finn Scholes and read by his father Jeff, Finn reveals his warped genius in three ways; lyrically, through his rich compositional tactics and with his ear-wrenching instrumental virtuosity.
To be released on 16 March, The New King brings together the extraordinary talents of five of Auckland’s most talented musicians, with special guests Don McGlashan, Lawrence Arabia & Tiny Ruins.
Finn says the album is a response to the enthusiastic and sometimes drunk punters who tell him after gigs that the one thing his band needs is a singer.
“Unfortunately, not being a singer myself this has meant I've had to call on many favours to get this to happen. Fortunately, I'm friends with some of New Zealand's top vocalists and can bargain with my trumpet and keyboard skills.”
“The fables are in the style of my favourite fable maker: Aesop. Aesop lived in a tough time (round 500 BC), he was also a slave, so I (like many young people, slaves to the baby boomers) feel some incredibly vague similarities. The fables comment on modern day life with the use of animals as characters, often reflecting on dark sides of human nature. The fables and the title of the album reflect the problems of the world today and the hope that perhaps one day a giant dog / sea serpent will take over.”
The first single ‘Car Dance’ is released today, with Tiny Ruins (Hollie Fullbrook) lending her vocal talents for the track.
“I lived with four members of Carnivorous Plant Society for three years. We would all be working on our various musical projects under the big pitcher plants hanging above the lounge table,” says Fullbrook.
“It has been a wonderful thing to see them move from one eclectic field of sound to the next. It always fills me with so much joy seeing them play, and so of course I leapt at the chance to sing on this most beautiful song - ‘Car Dance’ - a classic Finn Scholes brain-gem.”
“Car Dance came to me while sitting in traffic,” says Finn. “I noticed that when two cars switch lanes it kind of looks like they're dancing. This dance combined with the struggles of being stuck in traffic brought to me fantasies of escape. I knew right away that Hollie's voice would be perfect for the tune because it has a child like quality that reminds me of a kid stuck in the back of a car with dreams of freedom. The second half of the piece is supposed to represent the happy place these children would escape to should they achieve their dreams.”
Carnivorous Plant Society will take The New King on the road following the release beginning with an appearance at Titirangi Music Festival.
Carnivorous Plant Society - The New King Tour
23 March, Titirangi Music Festival - tickets at Eventbrite
30 + 31 March, Waiheke Jazz Festival - tickets at iTicket
6 April Napier - Sitting Room Session, contact email@example.com for tickets
7 April, Moon, Wellington - tickets at undertheradar.co.nz
13 April, Tuning Fork, Auckland (with Eb & Sparrow) - tickets from ticketmaster.co.nz
14 April, Butter Factory, Whangarei - free show!
The New King tracklisting -
Carp in a Pond
The New King
The Fashionable Bee
Don’t Go Outside
Lovers in an Apocalypse
It Has One Eye
Journey of the Sacred Crystal
The Goat and the Pussycat
Album Credits -
Finn Scholes - trumpet, tuba, keyboards, pitched percussion
Alistair Deverick - drums
Cass Basil - bass, vocals
Siobhanne Thompson - violin, vocals
Tam Scholes - guitar
Hollie Fullbrook - vocals (Car Dance & Don't Go Outside)
Lawrence Arabia - vocals (It Has One Eye)
Don McGlashan - vocals (Don't Go Outside)
Hayden Eastmond-Mein - vocals (It Has One Eye)
Jeff Scholes - fable reading
Music, lyrics & fables written by Finn Scholes
Produced by Alistair Deverick
All rhythm tracks recorded at Paquin Studios by Tom Healy
Overdubs elsewhere 2016-2017
Mixed by Alistair Deverick with help from Tom Healy
Mastered by Olly Harmer
Artwork by Finn Scholes
Carnivorous Plant Society Biography
You may not yet be familiar with Auckland musical storytellers Carnivorous Plant Society, but chances are you’ve seen a least one of their members on a stage near you. The prolific musicians perform with some of New Zealand’s most loved artists - Tiny Ruins, Bic Runga, Aaradhna, Neil Finn and Lawrence Arabia to name a few.
Described on their Facebook page as makers of “Mexican Fantasy Music” Carnivorous Plant Society formed in 2013 in the basement of the Crystal Palace, as Finn Scholes and Alistair Deverick experimented with Scholes’ compositions, resulting in their first self-titled album. In the following years, the band has gone through several iterations, before settling on the current line-up. In just four years they’ve composed and performed a live soundtrack to the silent film Lonesome as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival in collaboration with Lawrence Arabia, released the Phantom Finger EP, appeared at Auckland City Limits, Splore and the Wellington and Tauranga Jazz Festivals.
In 2018 Carnivorous Plant Society release The New King and perform at the Titirangi Music Festival and their own headline dates in April.
Carnivorous Plant Society is:
Finn Scholes (Avalanche City, Hopetoun Brown, Neil Finn)
Tam Scholes (Archie, Bannerman)
Cass Basil (Tiny Ruins, Bic Runga)
Alistair Deverick (Lawrence Arabia, Neil Finn, Lady Rizo)
Siobhanne Thompson (Bannerman)