It has been some time I wanted to write about this EP. A variety of elements let me to postpone. Life in general, my wedding, many others. However, I always felt I couldn’t give justice to this artist.
became personal to me. It is always fascinating to listen to an artist and truly feel their heart in the music. During the 20mins of “ ”, it felt like I had a very short term visit inside his mind.
Each track is carefully curated. They each portray a feeling, a mood and a story.
Recorded and mixed by Steve Fuller at the Electric Hobo Studios, produced by Robert Watling and Steve Fuller – in other words, the duo members of the Bobby Treacle Cartel. As described by the duo, they wanted a “rootsy, raw and organic EP”. I believe they reached their purpose.
With Robert Watling on vocals and guitars (who also wrote all the songs) and Steve Fuller on drums, guitars, bass and keys, they managed to record a beautiful EP.
The first track of the EP, “Travelling Man”, kicks off the EP full of swagger. An almost Blues / Bluegrass / Folk mixture, it is the perfect track to open the EP. In this first track, the perfect pace of drums and bass mark the repeated steps to the song, all while the melody is built through the acoustic guitar and Robert’s voice. And one element you’re introduced to is the effect used in his vocal tracks, which only adds to organic feel of the EP.
On the second track, “The Nameless”, again presents a steady pace on the drums and bass, almost unchanged. Although the drums alternate between a continuous snare single rudiment, and a more traditional kick and snare rhythm, the bass and guitar intertwines and sustains the rudiment movement, creating such a beautiful melody.
Robert’s vocal play used almost as a percussion is also such a brilliant element to this track. And finally, this track does something I love listening (or rather, not listening) – when a song ends almost in the middle of a sentence, and slightly out of place. The sensation is so unexpected that even though you know it will happen, it’s always a surprise.
“So, So Real” is the third track in this EP. The first thing I loved about this track is that you can feel the heart and depth of feeling in Robert’s voice. His high notes complement the song beautifully. And in this track we are introduced to an other side of the band. With a more indie mood to this track, it is one of those songs that you find yourself almost diving in the dream feeling. Small parts of guitar amp distortion noise becomes part of the melody. And close to the end of the track, the blend of his vocal track with the amp noise, creating this vocoder sensation, is beautiful.
This track also begs the speculation of a possible word play – in the chorus, Robert sings “I’ll give you anything / So, So Real”. I wonder if it might be listened as “So Surreal”, especially how it is song.
“In Waves and Rushes” is the slow, indie/folk track. Echoes and reverbs in the vocal track brings to mind Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and so many other amazing artists who explored these effects with such beautiful results. And this track is no different. Also, the title matches so perfectly with the track – it does feel like being in the waves.
The final track of the EP, “The Peacock King” – the title track and name of the EP, is the longest song of all – almost 7 minutes long. There is once again a bluegrass feel to this track, and his vocal track is pushed into overdrive in some parts, creating a distortion that gives me goosebumps of happiness. Mainly due to my past work as a recording and mixing engineer. So many rules, that many consider unbreakable – while I actively believe that when these rules, when broken, can produce beautiful and unique results.
And, of course, am passionate about longer tracks that I feel could last forever. They are not boring and overwhelming. Quite the opposite, they are beautiful compositions.
As the track moves to the final minute, it seems to be at it’s end, and a completely different rhythm replaces. This shift is a mark of intensely creative minds.
Once you believe the track and the EP is over, after about 30 seconds of silence, in comes a recording, with a low quality sound imitating the old FM radios, playing small bits of the EP for the last minute of the EP.
I am truly in love with this EP. A beautiful composition, filled with surprises, of which I keep devouring and discovering more elements and tiny parts after each new time I listen.
Although this EP is from late 2017, I will keep dreaming that this brilliant duo presents new tracks very soon. They are amazing!