LP Walkthru: Pot Plant House Party - Worms
The indie-punk group take us track by track through their vulnerable yet powerful debut record.
A few months ago Boorloo/ Perth-based indie-punk outfit Pot Plant House Party treated us to the first listen of their forthcoming album, with the track Safe In Your Skin (which you can read all about here). A band formed by high school mates Seb Davies and Charlie Smith, with bassist/ engineer Matt Templeman (Birds of Tokyo, Sly Withers, Voyager) and co-vocalist Daniel Bromely, they’ve been busy supporting the likes of Beddy Rays, Sly Withers, Teenage Joans, Ruby Fields, Hope D and TOWNS, whilst receiving spins from triple j, triple j Unearthed, RTR FM, 4ZZZ - leading up to the highly anticipated release of their debut LP Worms.
"'Worms' is the sum of seven years as a band formed into our most considered music to date.” shares the group's drummer Charlie Smith, continuing “Bouncing between dual lead vocalists Seb and Daniel, the themes of mental health, relationships and navigating the world are consistent throughout the record. Whether it's coated in musical heaviness or sonic tranquillity, the cathartic release of those themes remains the same. Each track is a collaboration between each member in building the piece of music into the best it can be."
Twelve tracks in length, all grounded in emotional punk sounds and guided by a reflective coming-of-age ethos, Worms is a vulnerable yet powerful release from Pot Plant House Party that timestamps their growth as musicians and songwriters. Gritty, real and at times euphorically anthemic, demonstrated in singles Safe In Your Skin, Hollow, Cyclones With Microphones, and Time Machine, you’re going to want to listen to the fuzz-laden stories of Worms, as they vividly spring to life from track 1, right to LP closer Sail On.
To celebrate the release of Worms, we asked Pot Plant House Party to uncover what went into the making of each and every track on the record. So be sure to hit play on the debut LP, whilst you take a read of what band mate Charlie Smith had to say below.
This started off as a guitar noodle I came up with at the start of 2019. It felt like something a little different and melody focused. I sent it to Dan, and he came up with all the lyrics straight away. We jammed it as a band to try and make it into a full song, including a Pup inspired breakout, but it felt weird, so we put it on the back burner. Dan suggested one time to just end it rather than move it into something that didn’t feel right, so we did that and coming to open the album we felt it right to give this track justice.
Safe In Your Skin
Seb and I arrived at rehearsal early on a day where we had a room rented for rehearsal and writing at our jam hub - The Hen House. He showed me this song, played the whole track in a more subdued tone. We jammed it and ended up writing the bones to most of it. Matt and Dan rocked up and we finished it within a few hours. This was the first song we finished as a band for the album and marked the start of the album writing process in September ‘21.
Dan, Seb and I recorded an early demo of this tune at the Hen House. Upon listening to it back, it felt like it needed to be faster and straight to the point. When we were in writing for the album, Dan started playing it much faster, keeping it as simple as possible but hitting with a raw energy that had been pent up in the song. The song completed itself after that and felt right to release as the first single back in April this year.
Change For You
Seb had the verse chord progression floating around for this one for a while, he would always play it in rehearsal, and it sounded refreshing and different. He wrote lyrics and formed the bare bones of the track. The idea behind this one was that we made the start of the song steer in one direction with a heavy breakout, but then pull it back in another direction with that initial chord progression, switching the attention. When we were writing the quiet, raw vocal parts of the pre-chorus and bridge I remember Matt saying: ‘we all just need to shut up here and let Seb sing’. He was right.
Cyclones With Microphones
When we first started writing the album, I would get to rehearsal half an hour early and just try and write a guitar idea on the spot that we could then jam. This allowed the creative process to come quickly and organically so when Seb came in, I could show him straight away. We’d then jam it and Seb would come up with the other core guitar parts. We sent the instrumental to Dan who was on his way from work. Dan loved it and wrote most of the lyrics for it on the way to rehearsal that day.
Before we went into pre-production, we wanted to write one more song. Seb sent an early demo of ‘Spark’. It was slow and ballad-y. In true Pot Plant form, we made it the fastest and most energetic of the record. We were in full writing mode by this point, so it only took a couple hours to form. Matt really made it come to life in the production with additional vocal layers.
This was another track where I got to rehearsal half an hour earlier and came up with a guitar part. Seb and I jammed it into a rough structure. Dan came in with fresh ears and simplified it further, letting the vocals shine. Once we showed Matt, he suggested going full Royal Blood mode in the bridge, switching the time signature from 6/8 to 4/4 and finishing the last chorus in 4/4. Dan suggested in recording one day ‘hey we should call this track ‘Worms’, in 0.5 seconds Matt said, “album title surely!” That was that.
Dan wrote this tune back in 2020, right after we recorded ‘Sorry I Didn’t Call You Back’. This felt like a breath of fresh air after slaving over the other songs for so long. Dan and I tied the loose ends of writing this one just before pre-production. This was hard to find the right tempo and we didn’t want it to feel like a ballad, nor feel like a punk-y number. But with the help from Matt and Seb we got there in the end.
We wrote and released this one back in ‘21, not intending for it to end up on the album. Once we were nearly finished with the recording of ‘Worms’, Dan suggested chucking this one on there. It felt really good to do as it provided that party/feel-good/childhood nostalgia element of the band that we touch upon so often, it ended up fitting so well among the other tracks, so it ended up being a quick and easy decision.
I showed this delicate chord profession to Seb mid-way through 2021. He switched it up a bit and made it his own, writing an emotive, heartfelt ballad that felt super endearing to finish as a band and put on the album. It didn’t take long to do as the topic of the lyrics and the music made it fall together so easily.
This was initially the bridge Seb wrote for the title track ‘Worms’. Dan heard it and thought it didn’t fit the tune but loved it for what it was. We’ve been wanting to do an interlude on a release for a while, so we decided to use it towards the end of the album. It was so fun to layer and hear Matt blend it together, build and lead into the final track.
This was the track that had the working title ‘Taylor’. I went to Matt’s studio the day Taylor Hawkins died, who is my biggest inspiration in drumming. We wanted to write something from scratch, none of us had anything. Matt came up with the progression and I added the lead parts. The next week, I had the beginning part of the bridge and something heavy that lead after it. When I came to recording the heavy part, Matt said ‘nah nah I’ve got something better’, I gave the guitar to him and he put down the biggest guitar riff of the record in true Matt form. We sent the instrumental to Seb and Dan, Seb wrote the lyrics for it. I heard the vocals for the first time when he recorded it and he nailed it, capping off the record in the best way I could’ve imagined.
Pot Plant House Party's debut album Worms is out now.
POT PLANT HOUSE PARTY - 'WORMS' ALBUM TOUR DATES
SAT 22 OCT | RAISING THE VIBE FESTIVAL, UNDALUP/BUSSELTON WA
FRI 28 OCT | TOWRADGI BEACH HOTEL, DHARAWAL/WOLLONGONG NSW
SAT 29 OCT | SCORCHED FESTIVAL, MEANJIN/BRISBANE QLD
FRI 4 NOV | THE GASOMETER, NAARM/MELBOURNE VIC
FRI 11 NOV | ROSEMOUNT HOTEL, WHADJUK/PERTH WA
FRI 25 NOV | YMCA HQ, WHADJUK/PERTH WA
FRI 2 DEC | SIX DEGREES, KINJARLING/ALBANY WA