Last week, Perlee released their gorgeous EP Half Seen Figure, follow-up to debut Slow Creature. Initially demos, these evocative tracks were first recorded by duo Cormac O’Keefe and Saramai Leech in a remote studio in the north of Ireland, then re-discovered and remixed in Berlin during lockdown, adding to them a unique, gritty feel that in no way overshadows the utter purity of their tone – in fact, it amplifies it, adding a texture to the compositions that is not unlike old parchment or vellum, the indication of something well-worn, something loved. In fact, standout track “Bird and the Statue” tells a story of such all-encompassing love:
Bird and the Statue was inspired in part by Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince. It’s about a statue and bird that fall in love but it’s doomed to fail. But, their love is real, eternal and impossibly big. We wanted it to feel epic and stoic…like a fairytale whispered in your ear at bedtime.
Propelled by piano, Leech’s vocals echo and reverberate as she takes the role of the bird, in the stunning, poetic narrative commenting on the stoicism of the statue, but simultaneously understanding its emotional potentiality: “There is a heart in you somewhere / But you have never been one to share /Tell me the things you never told / Show me how lead turns into gold.” The instrumentals remain patient, calm, but with a delicate longing, never rising above a whisper, but housing intensity within them nonetheless. She repeats, “give me the ground to fall at your feet / Give me the words you want me to speak,” a plea that extends upwards into the ether.
Half Seen Figure is out now.
photo courtesy of artist