EP 2015 by Jack Millar is an interesting, raw, intimate performance of songs of bluesy roots sound collages. The songwriting is also interesting, drawing forth many influences, and recorded and performed in a very premonitory way.
The EP opens with “Home” a collage of bowed glass-like crystalline pads before jazzy Steely Dan-meets Radiohead-like chords come in. The vocal has a great deeper end and there is some howling long guitar notes held out over more rapid guitar melodies underneath. The percussion feels a bit rough both in feel and in tone, but the melody is strong and as a sonic piece, it makes for a hauntingly interesting work.
“Nod” is based around a guitar ostinato that moves through time signatures rapidly. With an almost Indian-like tone, the high-pitched strings fly fast through some clumsy drums but very interesting other percussive techniques that sound like feet through gravel. In embracing these alternative approaches to percussion, the song really takes off and the guitar flourishes ebb and flow with excitement.
“King Blue” is a bluesy song that echoes a work song from the American south. Performed mostly a cappella with occasional stomps clicking in time, there is a chilling quality to the song before a psychedelic electric guitar enters. The trippy guitar runs through solos and squeals while piano shakes add tension, and a tambourine sneaks in at the end, being the only instrument that stays past the break and doubles the stomp throughout the end. It’s an effective development, moving almost like fever dream back to reality.
“Leave Today” closes the EP with echo-y vocals over the slow burn build of an acoustic guitar. The low bass strings of the guitar drone and add a tension that burns over the track against the melodic snaps of the higher strings that punctuate throughout under the long moans of the vocal melody. There is an edgy primal aspect to the delivery of the song, a rawness that is slowly boiling up over the coarse of the entire song, never fully releasing until the final guitar notes fade out. It’s a chilling and powerful conclusion to a strong EP.
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