Pluto’s nascent trajectory has covered the spectrum of the New Zealand musical stratosphere, bursting brightly onto the scene in 2001 just to have their star seemingly burn out just as abruptly in 2009. It would have been a suitably intriguing end to befall one of the finest, most exciting and alluring bands New Zealand has ever produced.
Pluto mastered the art of the multi-layered rock sound – sometimes indie, moody and restrained, at other times hook-laden hand-clap pop, often angular, full-energy, anthemic rock. Through the mid-2000’s, Pluto was at their zenith, consistently writing rock songs that traversed the musical landscape combining thoughtful, intelligent lyrics with sonic pop melodies to create evocative, memorable and seductive songs.
Pluto hit the ground running in 2001 with charming debut album Red Light Syndrome bringing them to national attention with songs ‘Hey Little’ and ‘She’s Jive’. This was followed up in 2005 with the double-platinum selling Pipeline Under The Ocean, which featured the critically acclaimed hits ‘Dance Stamina’, and ‘Long White Cross’ which took out Single Of The Year in 2006 at the NZ Music Awards. 2007 saw the release of third studio album Sunken Water, after which the band capitalised on their wider appeal and continued touring extensively with their high-energy performances revealing a band at their peak live.
A fourth album was to follow, with the first single ‘Snake Charmer’ released in 2009, but as is often the way, the good times led to seeds of discontent, sown by egos which grew into frustration, and Pluto disbanded in 2010 with all five members going their separate ways to pursue other projects and passions. Milan moved to Los Angeles and the others continued work with their individual musical endeavours in New Zealand and abroad.
Fast forward almost a decade……and PLUTO are back!
Sparked by the discovery of a back-up session of the unfinished album in 2015, Milan set about healing the rifts between them all and no less than four years later he was finally able to convince the boys to get back together and pick up where they left off. The album is set to be released in September 2019 under their own company, 5 Moon Entertainment, with the first single ‘Oh My Lonely’ leading the way. Excitingly for fans, this fourth album release will see the band play live once again.
Recorded at The Lab, ‘Oh My Lonely’ was produced by the highly-respected Jol Mulholland, a long-time friend and collaborator of the band. Like the rest of the band, he returned to the studio to pick it up again with new editions to the track in 2019, and he has been a pivotal part in producing the new album, despite it being 9 years in the making.
‘Oh My Lonely’ is also released with a stunning video, produced and directed by Milan Borich and edited by Nick Abbott, who has played an integral role in all four of Pluto’s records. Milan also produced and directed their ‘Hey Little’ (2001) and ‘Snake Charmer’ (2010) videos. Milan says ‘Oh My Lonely’ was originally a Jackson Pollock-esque theme with a blank canvas coming to life with a splattering of fluorescent paint. After encountering some resistance with misinterpretation we inverted the video and it took on a new life.”
The old adage “good things don’t come easy” comes to mind with this project, and ultimately Pluto’s musical journey through time is a true testament to this. But as everyone also knows “good things take time” and this good thing has been a long time coming. Nine years in the making, at last, the eagle has landed and ‘Oh My Lonely’ signals the return of Pluto. Mission completed!
PLUTO ARE: Milan Borich (lead vocals, guitar); Tim Arnold (guitar, vocals); Matthias Jordan (keyboards, vocals); Mike Hall (bass, vocals); Michael Franklin-Browne (drums)