Enemy Planes, indie-rock outfit from Minnesota, Echoes of M83, Foster the People, and acid jazz created a canvas for frontman Casey Call’s vocal lines to float above a sonic storm. The band cast spells on its audience, aided by their futuristic use of traditional electric lap-steel sounds.
Comprised of former members of Solid Gold, GAYNGS, and Pictures of Then, the music of Minneapolis-based ENEMY PLANES drifts effortlessly between melancholy and menace, hypnotic and hysteric, heartache, and euphoria. A stirring blend of haunting vocals, dense instrumentation, and driving beats yields a "tripnotic" sound that is distinctly their own. Conceived in 2012 somewhere between Minneapolis, MN and Lexington, KY, ENEMY PLANES came out hard and hasn’t looked back since, maintaining an ambitious recording and touring schedule.
“We started something based on a pretty simple idea: create music that we all truly love. If people end up being into it, that’s a bonus.” (Casey Call) ENEMY PLANES’ debut album, Beta Lowdown, is no small feat. The songs are deep, rich, and intricate, twisting through a vast trove of knowledge and innovation to create a monolith on the contemporary aural landscape. The band’s passion and versatility are obvious as the record melts into existence with the opening track “Automatic Catatonic,” which gives way to the pulse-pounding urgency of “Bare Your Teeth” before passing through the haunting melodies of “We Want Blood” and “Stranger Danger.” Lead singer Casey Call’s evocative and soaring vocals convey subtly dark yet thought-provoking lyrics that only add to the trip-notic sonic fusion of an almost indiscernible electronic and acoustic arsenal. All adjectives aside, it’s not hard to figure out why their growing base of loyal fans tends to fall into an almost sensual trance-like state when the band takes the stage.
Beta Lowdown, co-produced by Duane Lundy (ShangriLa Studios) and Casey Call (Enemy Planes), is an experiment in juxtaposition. Lundy, known largely for his work with artists such as Jim James, Vandaveer, Sturgill Simpson, and Joe Pug, might not seem like the obvious choice for a band that operates pretty far from the folk/Americana side of the spectrum. Casey puts it like this: “No matter how finished we think an idea may be, we’re always looking for a way we can fuck it up and turn it into something else.” There’s no doubt that ENEMY PLANES has found a soulmate in Lundy and that this unlikely melding of musical souls is primed for breathing fresh air into a genre that is desperately searching for something unheard.
Although this is their debut album, ENEMY PLANES has come a long way in a short while, sharing the stage with such acts as Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids, Lenny Kravitz, and Avicii. All six members come from vastly different musical backgrounds, but this synthesis of perspectives has allowed them the breadth to forge a repertoire that’s well suited for washing over the masses. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever played or been a part of before,” says Kristine Stresman (synths/vocals), “every show is an adventure, and Beta Lowdown commands a room's notice anywhere we go.”