The Plain White T's are back, and true to their signature style their new self-titled album is filled with the charming melodies, relatable stories, and pop-punk sensibilities that have defined the band's sound over the years.
In making Plain White T's, the band deliberately took their time, tapping into the essence that defines the Plain White T's, the band. According to lead singer Tom Higgenson, "We were trying to hark back to sounds we've used in the past with a freshness. This one came from a really authentic place of understanding who we are and what we do. I'm more excited than I've been in a long time. As musicians, we're always trying to outdo ourselves or go somewhere we haven’t gone before. Somehow, we figured out how to go to a fresh spot and still sound like Plain White T's."
Lead single "Red Flags" exemplifies the band's deftness with hooks and diary-honest lyrics, weaving a tale of love where the protagonist grapples with the dichotomy of blissful affection and nagging doubts. Higgenson sheds light on the inspiration behind the song, sharing, "I was dating someone and it was going so well but in some instances, I was like, 'Wait does this girl really care? Is she giving me the signals that this is not working?' Sometimes you get so lost in love and all the good things you ignore the bad things and that's what 'Red Flags' is. I'm daydreaming about her but there are all these red flags that I am ignoring."
On the track "You Plus Me," Plain White T's take a departure into a delightfully retro vibe. The gentle acoustic guitar strumming and talk-sung vocals create an atmosphere reminiscent of a bygone era. The song is a simple, pretty, and resonant ode to finding and loving one's person through thick and thin. With its relatable and honest lyrics, the track is one that could easily find a second life as the soundtrack to a starstruck couple's journey back to each other in a cinematic montage. Then there’s "Fired Up," a song of layered, full melodies and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, serving as the album's midday pick-me-up. Like a serotonin boost, this feel-good jam is the perfect remedy when you're on the brink of hitting the wall at 2 pm. The song's infectious energy is like a jolt of sonic caffeine that’ll have you bouncing around for at least three minutes.
Since their emergence in 1997, Plain White T's have been a consistent force, delivering unforgettable pop-rock anthems that linger in listeners' ears. With over 2.7 billion total global streams, two Grammy nominations, and numerous platinum and gold certifications, the band's impact is undeniable thanks in part to the quadruple-platinum single "Hey There Delilah," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and garnered Grammy nominations in 2008. The band's continuous presence through appearances on shows like Sesame Street, iCarly, 90210, Beavis & Butthead, and Frankenweenie solidify Plain White T's as a force in pop culture, and as they unleash their self-titled album, they reaffirm their status as a true career band with an ever-growing legacy.