Plumtree is a Halifax pop/rock band that existed between 1993 and 2000. Sisters Carla and Lynette Gillis met Amanda Braden and Nina Martin through music teachers in 1993 when they were all under the age of 17. Four months later, they performed their first set at renowned Halifax all-ages club Cafe Ole.
Plumtree’s upbeat “happy” sound quickly caught the ear of local label Cinnamon Toast Records, as well as popular Halifax bands Sloan, Thrush Hermit and Jale. This support helped Plumtree secure high-profile shows at the Halifax Pop Explosion and Toronto’s Edgefest, and kick-started years of touring.
In 1995, Ottawa native Catriona Sturton joined Plumtree after Nina left for university in Montreal. Plumtree maintained a strong national (albeit underground) presence throughout the late ’90s thanks to video airplay, festival appearances, three full-length albums and near-constant touring alongside Thrush Hermit, the Local Rabbits, the Weakerthans, Duotang, Superfriendz, Julie Doiron and the Inbreds. Notable awards included Best Canadian Band Under Twenty from the YTV Achievement Awards (1996) and an East Coast Music Award nomination for Predicts the Future (1998).
During Plumtree’s career, all four members were active in Halifax’s thriving indie music scene. Amanda, Nina and Lynette had radio shows on Dalhousie University’s CKDU, while Carla produced demos for fledgling punk bands. Carla and Lynette also performed in the pop-punk trio Absolutely Nothing, among other bands. Plumtree’s demise in 2000 was a result of academic aspirations. Carla and Lynette currently live in Toronto and perform in Overnight. Amanda lives in Vancouver, Nina in Chicago and Catriona, who has a solo music career, in Ottawa. Sixteen years later, the ladies remain the best of friends.
Thanks to a relationship with Endearing Publishing, Plumtree songs have appeared posthumously in a number of films and TV shows, including Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Hanging Garden, Life With Derek, Numb3rs, 24 and The Surreal Gourmet. As well, Universal Pictures released the film Scott Pilgrim Vs The World based on a graphic novel series by Plumtree fan Bryan Lee O’Malley, who borrowed the name “Scott Pilgrim” from a Plumtree song that appears on the band’s 1997 album, Plumtree Predicts The Future. In the film, Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim.
- This Day Won’t Last At All, 2000, CD, Endearing Records
- Predicts the Future, 1997, CD and cassette, Cinnamon Toast Records
- Mass Teen Fainting, 1995, CD and cassette, Cinnamon Toast Records
- Syrup & Gasoline: Vol 1, 1999, CD compilation, Grenadine Records, featuring “Latitude”
- Moshi Moshi: Pop International Style, 1999, compilation, March Records, featuring “I Love You When You’re Walking Away”
- The Girls Are All Square, 1997, compilation CD (Japanese import), featuring “Hang Up, Baby”
- Super Secret Songs, 1997, compilation CD, Ramona Records, featuring a cover of Def Leppard’s “You Got Me Runnin’”
- Plumtree/Inbreds, 1997, split 7”, PF Records, featuring “Scott Pilgrim”
- Preserving Wildlife, 1996, 7″ (UK import), Mustard Records
- Impact Music: Vol 12, 1996, Rolls Magazine Compilation, featuring “Tropical”
- You’re a Super Lady, compilation 7”, Corduroy Records, featuring “Fatherhood”
- Trim Crusts if Desired, 1995, compilation 12” and CD, Cinnamon Toast Records, featuring “Dog Gone Crazy”
- Water Had Leaked Into My Suit, 1994, 7″, Cinnamon Toast Records
- Flutterboard, 1994, cassette EP, independent
- Green Mittens, 1993, split 7″ with Strawberry, Cinnamon Toast Records