Deerful stretches sound into different dimensions on Home.
Deerful's Home EP takes bedroom pop and re-imagines it within a spectrum of new wave, chiptunes, and emotional dance beat sensibilities. The short EP tracks much musical ground by covering a song by the Mountain Goats while citing both Kirby's Dreamland and Ducktails as influences. The four tracks are dripping with nostalgia but an electrical current runs through the puddle formed underneath that keeps everything squarely in the present. The mastermind planner and bright vocals behind Deerful are none other than Emma Winston, a London-based ethnomusicologist and songwriter who takes great interest in creating music using small instruments. Gameboys and ukuleles galore, her blog is a goldmine of information about all the different ways to create musical rigs with mobility in mind. The technology behind the creation of Home is just as interesting as the songwriting itself; she admits on her Twitter that no Gameboys were actually used in the making of this project. Instead, she programs sequences into a Teenage Engineering P-20, which looks something like a graphing calculator and sounds immensely powerful. It's impossible to not respect Deerful's ability to tweak individual sounds in so many different directions, stretching them in both logistical and emotional directions and dimensions.
But there is so much to wonder at on Home beyond all the techno-babble. The vocals are well-trained and relaxed, seemingly expressing exactly what they want with ease. There is a confidence to her performance that feels extremely tenured while remaining human. Track “Before Us Comes The Flood,” opens with the line, “My heart runs faster than it should,” with an excited tone building behind it. The song is filled with all sorts of chiptune inspired sparkly bits exploding from ear to ear. The chorus builds into a chaotic wall of melody-focused glitch beats, held together by Winston's pinpoint vocalizations. Home is actually a re-imagining of some of Deerful's other work, reorganized as video game backing tracks in a single location. But even though it could be thought of as a remix project, the EP stands on its own as a well executed creative glory, and brings out another side of an excellent composer.
Listen to Deerful on bandcamp.
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Ruune Magick is an ex-nomadic performer/current village witch living in New England. You can find their twitter during some moon phases at @ruunemagick.