'Sir Walter Raleigh' is the next number in my massive catchup session of Rebecca Peake and her track-a-day journey. A post-Britpop label is done proud as the guitars strum and the drums soak into your ears. Whispering vocals lend a very eerie, unsettling tone to the music, and as one comment rightly observes, Peake seems to have created the new Wall of Sound. Piano melodies and tinkling chimes are layered over each other, forming a 'wall' of reverb, fascinating in its depth and filling the space around you. As the track progresses, things get more and more crazed, before a slower, but perhaps even scarier finish closes the four minutes. As per usual, 'Sir Walter Raleigh' is just a must-hear track!
Like being underwater, everything is so quiet. Surrounding you is nothing but the cold blue of the water, detailed by flecks of dust and algae and the occasional small fish. As you watch this creature swim past, you notice, out of the corner of your eye, something take shape. From the murky darkness, a colossal structure emerges. Towering high above, you recognise the bow. You shiver through the wetsuit as the many windows stare out at you, lifeless and riddled with nightmares. Suitcases lie deathly still, unmoved from where they were left. Pristine beds glimmer under your torch, eternal in their slumber. You notice a doll, her smiling porcelain face cracked and broken. Time stands still for a moment. Looking down into the belly of the beast, you slowly unclasp your air tank. Your tears float away into the distance as you start to lose consciousness. The world above is tainted, while down here, innocence prevails. Silence brings comfort, and you realise, like a burden lifted from your heavy heart, that you want to 'Be Devoured'. You finally breath...
'Last Vertiges' is the next track, and runs for an amazing six minutes. A psychedelic ballad of epic proportions, the sound here builds and builds, rumbling and thundering under the reverberating vocals. It grows with quiet, tangible disquiet, throbbing and sincere and beautiful. The backing track is harmonised to a wonderful level. Like a hundred people wailing and lamenting the loss of a leader, the scope Peake has squeezed out of this is inspirational. Three-quarters of the way through, a pulse-quickening build leads into an anti-climactic, but somewhat ethereal piano break. As you breath a sigh of content, something changes. Hope appears from the darkness, and all seems right with the world. A key change at the very end hints so subtly at future fears, but for now, nothing is wrong.
'Honeybee' follows as a space-rock number, and feels very much like a toned down musical track (think 'Love Never Dies'). As we progress past the one and a half minute mark however, the guitars come in and the song really comes into its own. The lyricism drowns ever so gracefully in the unstoppable ocean of sound, before jerking your wandering mind back to reality with a sudden finish. As you sit, recuperating with heavy breaths for company, you turn to the next song, 'Muscovite Trail', hoping for more of the same. Instead, you're dealt something completely different, in true Peake fashion. Captivating vocals bounce off the studio walls as classic folk guitars strum along. Warm strings play along as you watch, face to the glass, as raindrops slide purposefully down your window. Strong and delicate simultaneously, you can listen to both the songs below!
'I Failed Atlantis' sounds decidedly church-like. The sad, harmonised vocals send you forth on a quest almost certain to fail. Their voices reverberate off the stone, ascend the breath-taking space above your head, and fill your imagination with thoughts of heaven. You don't need to be religious to understand the message of this track. Life is never certain, but death is. It eventually wraps its warm, soft, confident arms around our crippled bodies. The touch will heal. Wounds will seal up and our minds will unfurl. This is thought-provoking music if ever I heard it, but as before, the next track, 'Broken Mirror' jerks you from your musings. One comment nods its head towards a Battles influence, and if they were hyper and depressed, I'm pretty sure they would sound like this. Powerful, repeated beats are met with vocals to die for and synths to match. Strong and roaring, everything feels immense, and I absolutely love it! Stream below, but I think that's the catchup done!