Stepping up from the acoustic guitar and wooden stool into this cinematic pop single is a change in direction for Australia’s Thelma Plum. The past decade has seen plenty of female artists with wispy vocals, twee sensibilities and an inability to assert themselves. With Thelma Plum, however, there has always been bold tendencies.
Opening with a guitar line imbued with the readiness of Beatrix Kiddo, How Much Does Your Love Cost? drops into a groove that is at once expansive and grounded. Not that Plum has ever been shy of a solid groove, her previous offerings have showed a predilection for rhythm. The track’s orchestration has a strength to it, with flurries of strings and commanding percussion it is reminiscent of Florence’s Lungs. And, with Plum singing about taking charge of a relationship, it’s strength that you need.
You have to suspect that with her forthcoming Ep, Monster, Thelma Plum and her creative team at large are gearing towards Plum becoming that strong, independent female artist which garners more time and respect out the public’s fickle tastes. Out with whimsy, in with the dramatic. Out with the teenage, in with the womanly. How Much Does Your Love Cost? is a stepping stone for Thelma Plum and while it’s not entirely fresh in it’s arrangement it is refreshing to see a young female artist develop in this way. Let’s hope that Monster develops a little further.