I first became aware of Emily Peal when she opened the release party for Static Of The Gods’ final EP, The Midnight Fires. Emily and Mike Agentis stripped their songs to the core, letting a sense of quirk and craft shine through. I was particularly infatuated with the cunningly coy “Wise To You.” Even in full studio regalia, the song has a decidedly pop bent. That’s what I thought I was getting into.
Lately I’ve been reminded that first impressions can be deceiving. I’m still enthralled with Emily Peal’s music, but for more varied reasons. The depth of her recent releases have left a mark. Tunneling drove home Emily’s flair for the theatrical and unique arrangements. Her cover of “Bang Bang” was a vehicle driven by tension and power. Now Emily and her Band Of Skinny Men unleash Fine Fur Coat. All of these elements are pulled together. Here are three stories set to music that rattles and pounds until the fate of the protagonist is felt as much as it is told. This is cinema. The title track is an ever evolving affair, with stellar drum work getting more and more frantic as Emily’s vocals desperately search for some truth in a guarded relationship. “February” bears witness to fierce, fuzzed out bass overtaking a finger-picked guitar introduction. Neither instrument is a match for the haunting chat that closes out the song. The EP closes with “Mountain,” a sprawling epic built around piano arpeggios and blasts of sonic fury. The dissonant walls of distortion that accent the song carry me further from the Emily Peal I first saw at TT’s. I’m enjoying the journey.
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