3.03.2010

Peasant: Shady Retreat


With the release of Shady Retreat Peasant AKA Damien DeRose has reclaimed his intentions. Shady Retreat establishes a winning combination of the quirky/folk I fell in love with on his self released Fear Not, Distant Lover and the folk/pop of On The Ground released by Paper Garden Records

The quirky treatments throughout the recording give DeRose's distinct melodies the folky charm of a favorite old shirt or the warmth of a familiar feeling. His voice captures a raw sincerity always on the verge of breaking, gathering teardrops and sentiments of love, loss, hope and promise.

Don't be deceived by short or seemingly simple aspects of DeRose's writing, he is a thoughtful writer and editor. It is what he leaves out that is important.
His lyrics fluctuate from the global to the personal where he pushes and pulls those competing themes. Especially in "Hard Times" where the guitar and vocals echo through old speakers creating a poignant timeless feel. Kind of like a lullaby for a young generation loosing hope through difficult times../ Hard times / aren't good times / but we'll still try to see them through /.

This collection starts with
"Thinking" combining the organ, shakers and harmonies to contemplate our place in the world.. / We just can't go on without thinking /. I don't any lyric could be so perfectly clear and relevant.

"The Distance" continues in a reflective tone one that is more personal rather than worldly with a slow strum that ponders the future while listening to the distance of the past. / where have you been my lover / where have you gone my friends / fading to the distance of each other.

Three cool songs in a row propel the unique offbeat percussion. "Well Alright" has an awesome sloppy drum beat with simple piano,
"Pry" adds shakers and pot beat to a sad waltz and "Prescriptions" has great clopping horse trot with soft harmonies.

Capturing mood is another aspect of his song structure. The use of metaphor in
"Into The Woods" creates the dreamlike setting with female harmonies. In the song "Tough" the mood is love with a capital L. With its soft plucking guitar it is drenched in the morning sunlight of appreciation. / Can't you be the only one for me / your like the rising sun /.

Shady Retreat ends with "Slow Down" using twangy guitar chimes while ending appropriately singing / I wouldn't change a thing /. And he didn't!

Peasant's instincts were right to record Shady Retreat alone in a 200 year old farmhouse where he crafted a full blast of
authenticity.

Enjoy "Well Alright"

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