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Music, Music News

New Music: Joel Plaskett – “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test”

By: Staff –

Joel Plaskett. (Photo: Ingram Barss)

Joel Plaskett. (Photo: Ingram Barss)


The Park Avenue Sobriety Test: Is it the name of a band? A metaphor? A Dartmouth rite of passage? An acronym? It’s a bit of all those, and a bit of a mystery too. It’s also the name of Joel Plaskett’s new album (out March 17th via Pheromone Recordings), another collection of songs that features both the classic Plaskett sound and a story thread.

“The album is about a 39-year old wrestling with his place on earth and society, navigating it,” says Plaskett, “It sounds banal, and it kind of is, but it’s important to me. And maybe if you’re at the same point in your life that I am, it will make sense. As you get more experiences as an adult, you start notching up the lost friends, and the missed opportunities, and the way things could or couldn’t have gone. You can choose to crumble or retreat, temporarily or permanently. Or you power through it and look for the joy. I think I try to strike the balance of the two perspectives here, I really can feel both of those at certain times, and even the same time. “

While The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is a Plaskett album by name, the big group of friends helping out is the Emergency-Plus, featuring his long-time touring buddies, plus previous members of that group and Thrush Hermit, and even more friends and musical neighbours. Produced by Plaskett at his New Scotland Yard studio in Dartmouth, the album includes contributions from Dave Marsh, Chris Pennell, Tim Brennan, Ian McGettigan, JP Cormier, Mo Kenney and more.

“I’m really proud of the work we did in the studio. When I listen to the songs, I hear a lot of joy in the playing because so much of it was cut live. So there’s this life that I hear that goes a bit deeper than my other records. I still feel like I’m trying to make music that’s vital, and ideally better than things I’ve done in the past.  I’m still fighting for that. I’m learning as I go as a producer, how to make things sounds better.”

The Park Avenue Sobriety Test is Plaskett’s ninth studio album and the follow up to 2012’s Scrappy Happiness.

Stream the title track below!




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