The Treehouse

There's A Fear Pt. 1

Written by: TL on 29/08/2011 02:00:10

Moving on, here's another EP whose stylistical relevance here at is arguably a little dodgy. This one is called "There's A Fear Pt. 1" and is the second ever EP from Lincoln, UK based sixtet The Treehouse. The band plays a mix of folk and alternative rock with - emphasis heavily on the folk - characterised by male/female vocal harmonies and violin melodies and likely influenced by all sorts of artists that I only have superficial knowledge of. Their EP is not totally unfamiliar territory for me however, seeing as it is quite reminiscent of what bands like Spokes, Caravela, The Decemberists, Emanuel And The Fear and even Mumford & Sons have been doing lately.

The EP features two up beat tracks in number one, "Wear Your Demons", and number three, "Corinne", and two slower songs in tracks two and four, "Bring Me More" and "Widow Song". All four have vocalist Emma Mersseman's light, classically folksy singing at the centre of the expression, putting in a fine performance that could send rock fans thoughts in the direction of the classical singers employed by some goth/symphonic metal bands. Instrumentally however, The Treehouse are as light as Mersseman's singing, relying mainly on acoustic guitar, violin and piano for melodies, while playful bass lines and soft drumming make up the rhythm section. And that's at their heaviest, considering how a song like "Widow Song" for instance, is a subtle piece made up exclusively of the sound of waves, gentle plucking of acoustic guitar and bass, and vocal harmonies from Mersseman and the remaining band members, both male and female.

As hinted before, "Bring Me More" is much the same, with faint guitar only barely providing a melody beneath the vocal harmonising, and while both songs sound quite pretty, I admit that they feel a bit like interludes to the other two songs which are slightly busier. Especially "Corinne" seems a highlight of the record, with the backing choir repeating the name between chorus lines. For both that and "Wear Your Demons" however, the simple addition of drumming improves the songs' dynamics, and effectively make them slightly more engaging in my opinion.

Overall, I like the fact that "There's A Fear Pt. 1" gives you such a varied listen by going back and forth between up-tempo and quiet songs. It simply makes it easier for the songs to stand out to the listener. However, with effectively half of the disc being so subtle, it also makes the end product feel like there isn't much to the record, even for an EP. Furthermore, while The Treehouse offer some intricate and easily enjoyable arrangements, as well as some very pretty singing, I don't feel like any of these songs are the kind of immediate winners a band needs to spread its name. Then again, it's only their second EP, so there is of course plenty of time for them to develop.

Download: Corinne, Wear Your Demons
For The Fans Of: Caravela, Spokes, Emanuel And The Fear, The Decemberists, Mumford & Sons

Release Date 06.05.2011

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