Foursome Plains is one of the local music scene’s great, quiet treasures. The band, led by Michael McGinnis, has always stood for quality over quantity, releasing an album of super-tight indie rock in a classic style seldom heard in South Florida. Plains’ self-titled, debut 2011 album was straight-ahead, catchy guitar rock, often sentimental while never bordering into corny — the kind of stuff that should dovetail well with the current, wistful vogue for all things ’90s.
Yet Plains has never been about saturating the local circuit with too many shows — in fact, things have been mostly quiet on the band’s front over the past few months. “For the most part it was just the typical cycle of writing, recording, releasing, promoting, and doing it all over again,” says Jorge Graupera, the band’s guitarist. “Additionally, everyone was busy doing other things. Michael worked on a couple of personal projects, not really solo, but just stuff that didn’t really fit Plains. Jorge [Rubiera, drummer] is always busy with his career doing video work, and I’ve been working hard on my own video business and getting ready for my wedding, which is two weeks away!”
Nuptials, businesses, and other songwriting aside, though, Graupera says Plains is ready to hit 2013 hard — and, as proof, the band has released a video for a new song “Swim.” Shot by a band pal, photographer Jesse Meadows, at Honor Roll Music, the clip signals a new direction for the band, one that’s more slickly produced, more in love with reverb, and a little darker, even.
“Plains is still essentially a Michael McGinnis production, but playing with us has, I think, has informed his writing to some degree, and as a result the new record is going to have a cleaner production and will be more band-oriented,” Graupera explains. “As far as the content, I think it will be less, for lack of better word, emotional than the first.”
The video’s just one of first in a series the band plans to release regularly until the summer, under the creative direction of Meadows and Honor Roll producer Michael Montuori. “They wanted to promote [the studio's house label] 10k Islands artists with video sessions a la Daytrotter, Black Cab Sessions, and so on,” says Graupera. “I had been dying to do something like that for a while so I talked everyone into it.”
Fans can expect new videos through the months until the early summer, when the new Plains full-length is set to come out. Graupera says it’s “90 percent done” already, but the final track list and musical direction isn’t necessarily set in stone. “I suppose that lyrically, it’s not as personal and the music will be a little groovier and livelier,” he says. “But who knows. Mike writes so much, it could all change!”