Goodnight, Plum (Cosmic Dreamer)
Reviewed by Elise Barbin, Fri., March 22, 2019
A falsetto pierces the opening seconds of "Rooms," the first track on Taft Mashburn's ethereal third album, which his band of five recorded live during a studio performance. The six-song collection glides just over the half-hour mark, with each number languorously hanging and drifting into the next like Texas' summer air. Delivery doused in feeling, this saturation harks wine by the gulpful, pools of tears waiting to fall. Emotional presence stands forefront in the mix, leaning over crisp-when-present percussion, sparse patches of twinkling keys, and arpeggiating strings that intermittently punctuate the overall sustain of glassy melodies. Soothing, softer tones sit evenly dispatched throughout the album, unlike the songwriter's previous endeavors, which tend to traverse ranges of genres and tones beneath his evergreen dulcet croons. Goodnight, Plum delivers a soft sting of vulnerability, packaged with the relief of clarity that shoots in only alongside catharsis.