In a recent interview with Exclaim!, Plaid's Ed Handley described their musical approach: "It's always a bit of a balancing act — that conflict of making things both simple and complex." Handley could easily be describing IDM as a whole, but it's a perfect summation of Plaid's entire career thus far. Satisfyingly simple and intriguingly complex has been their modus operandi since the early '90s, and those qualities are still at the forefront of the duo's tenth studio album, (14th, if we're counting collaborations and film score work ….
Plaid's tenth studio album is inspired by environmental concerns, as well as humanity's relationship with synthetic objects and how they affect the planet. Similar to many of Plaid's past albums, the duo weave acoustic instrumentation throughout their tricky compositions, fusing machine precision with warmth, humanity, and wonder. As with 2016's The Digging Remedy, Polymer is a bit darker than usual for Plaid, reflecting the album's eco-conscious themes, but it's still playful and spirited, if more mature-sounding than their earlier work.