Custom Blue - The Tree EP

stately, relaxed and enchanting

The Tree EP is the perfect little 4 track to welcome a Sunday morning in with. It’s a stately, relaxed and enchanting little release that’s well worthy of your attention. Opener Summer’s Gone is quite a downbeat, almost unsettling tune, reminiscent of Massive Attack’s Mezzanine album in atmosphere (if not in execution). It’s built around a simple little guitar riff that hooks itself deep into your skin while a dark, uncompromising wall of sound builds up slowly and effectively around it. Monotonous, emotionless vocals power the track forward before organs, screeching guitars and some rather ethereal backing vocals provide the track with a swirling, powerful and captivating conclusion.
Riverbend is a gentle, calming and utterly beguiling track that feels painfully short at just shy of three minutes long. Strings gently moan and meander around a simple keyboard part while an acoustic guitar serves as the lynchpin; upon which Nick Drake fans will want to attach themselves to in droves. It’s an evocative and beautiful tune that makes me want to step outside and soak up what’s left of the summer. Let It All Fall Down continues in a similar vein, although this feels more urban in its make up. It makes me think of rain drenched city streets and quiet nights in. It’s the kind of song you want to hold a loved one close to and just relax in each other’s arms for a few minutes.

Walking On Measured Soles is the only slight mis-step here and that’s because it sounds like what it is, a collage of disconnected pieces strung together. There’s nothing wrong with it, as such, but it feels less focused, less cohesive than the other tracks here. You can tell there’s no real destination in mind and although these ambient snippets have some merit, it’s not the kind of thing you’ll feel yourself being drawn back to over and over. Having said that, it still fills out a totally bewitching little EP.

Custom Blue aren’t in a hurry to grab your attention, so make sure you give them the space and time they need to work their magic. When you do, a whole new world will open up to you, one that’s very beautiful indeed.

Highly, highly recommended.