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Van Plating & Elizabeth Cook Team Up On ‘The Heron’ (Review)

Van Plating turns to genre icon Elizabeth Cook for “The Heron,” the lead-off single to Plating’s forthcoming record. Wistful for a bygone era, the folk-rock ditty longs for a sense of home, whether literal or figurative. But time has other plans. Nothing ever stays the same.

“Take me back to the cool spring water / Flowers on the highway, an engineer’s daughter,” the duo harmonizes with delightful precision. “Alligators snap, the kite bird sings / Fiddle on deck, steel banjo strings.”

Later, the images continue unraveling, as they sing, “Long hot days with a bluegrass band / Coming up young in the Seminoles land.” Van Plating’s voice has a way of seizing your soul and never letting go. “The Heron” is no different. You may even have an out-of-body experience while listening.

“The Heron” samples Plating’s Orange Blossom Child, out this fall. The song, which materialized last for the record, is “a song of longing for home; maybe a home that’s long gone and only exists in the hearts, the memories, and even the DNA of those living in the here and now,” Plating told PopMatters. “It’s a love song to those who’ve come before.”

Listen to “The Heron” below.

While writing the song, Plating began to mull over her youth and the things she misses most. “It got me thinking about the pickin’ circles I used to sit in as a small child, the wild fields, and the sense of home I had playing music with my elders in the front yard after a fish fry. Family. Slower times. Long hat days with the bluegrass band. It got me thinking about what I wanted to take into the future from those times and what I hoped would stay in the past.”

Orange Blossom Child is Plating’s third studio record. Her journey, which began after her studies at Florida Southern College, has taken her through the mountains and the valleys. After nearly a decade in the shadows, she returned in 2019 with a self-titled LP, soon followed by The Way Down two years later. Along the way, she’s etched her voice on our hearts and mesmerized us with her diamond-cut lyricism. Now, it’s her time to shine even brighter.

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