'When I saw them, I heard traces of Mazzy Star and Low — if this was dream-pop, it had been weathered through the world-weariness of slowcore….'– Ryan Leas, Stereogum.
Slow Creature marks Perlee's first body of work. The songs dig deep into the reality of our ever-present emotional lives. Conditions to Thrive, Chain of Coral, Charlie's Song and Feelings of Plenty; connection, pain, longing and gratitude. The bones of this E.P. were recorded to tape at Analogue Catalogue studios in Newry early 2019 with renowned engineer Julie McLarnon (Lankum, The Vaselines). Perlee met Julie at a Dublin gig in 2018. She invited them to her studio and straight away it was a good fit. They recorded several tracks to tape and these releases are the fruits of that week.
Stereogum had this to say of Perlee's first single off the EP, 'Chain of Coral': 'The duo’s melody weaves in and out of focus initially, like tips of flames moving in unpredictable yet still natural arcs. The song becomes entrancing...drawing you in with one flare, one faded hook, before encouraging you to get lost in its currents. It’s a sighing, beautiful composition.' There are guest appearances on 'Chain of Coral' from A.S. Fanning on bass and O’Emperor’s Brendan Fennessy on drums. The track was mixed by A.S. Fanning in a studio in East Berlin which once served as a Stasi HQ before the wall came down.
'Charlie’s Song', the second release from the 'Slow Creature' E.P., offers a lush glimpse into the Perlee sound world. Last Spring, Perlee made a trip to London, to Urchin Studios, to work with Matt Ingram (Laura Marling, Florence and the Machine, The Staves) who has mixed this track and also features on drums. 'Charlie's Song' is the only track off the EP that came with the duo to Berlin, the rest having been written since they moved from their native home in Ireland. 'Beginning in a sort of grey afternoon reverie, 'Charlie’s Song' blooms into a chorus, Leech and O’Keeffe’s voices intertwining as they sing 'You’re in my mind/ At the break of day, in the dead of night.' Fittingly, the melody sounds like someone’s heart opening up to another person.'- Ryan Leas, Stereogum.
'Feelings of Plenty', in contrast the the rest of the tracks, was captured in a one-take live recording and is minimal in it’s production with one electric guitar and two voices and was mixed by Julie in the foothills of the Mourne mountains. Saramai recalls, “We started playing ‘Feelings of Plenty’ in the live room, just warming up really and getting our sounds. The amp was in the room and everything. Suddenly the light on the mountains turned purple and there was a certain magic glow in the room. Julie quickly set up six mics around us, kind of like a photographer. That’s the recording you hear”.
'Conditions to Thrive' is the last to be released but the first track on the EP. Like 'Chain of Coral' it was mixed by A.S. Fanning in Berlin. Matt Ingram lent his incredible drumming skills to it (as he did for 'Charlie's Song') and the overall effect is a drone led, Velvet Underground red-wine reverie, about life, love and loss.
In 2017 Cormac O’Keeffe and Saramai Leech moved to the German capital from the remote Irish countryside of Co. Meath. The fruits of gigging frequently and embedding themselves into the Berlin music scene are evidenced in their honed and unique songwriting. It also led to fruitful collaborations with Berlin artists such as A.S. Fanning. 'Though we moved to Berlin with a trove of songs, the bulk of the EP was written after we arrived in Germany. The Berlin scene has pushed us in ways we don’t even fully realise yet. There’s been a great freedom in living in such a big city. Mostly it’s the space and time to experiment and the fact that you can gig often to different audiences' says Cormac.
'Hailing from Meath but now based in Berlin, the duo fill the basement with cooing, dovetailing vocals underpinned by Saramai Leech’s lush, cinematic keyboards, and Cormac O’Keeffe’s delicate, reverb-drenched guitar. Opening with the sparse, tear-inducingly beautiful Chain Of Coral, and closing with forthcoming single Charlie’s Song, their set veers from haunted, fingerpicking wistfulness to sun-kissed dream pop redolent of Beach House and Slowdive.' – Irish Culture Berlin
'Delivering soothing and dreamy alt-pop, they turned their setting temporarily into a David Lynch movie… singer Saramai Leech’s smoky voice coupled with the band’s floaty and delicate keyboard and guitar driven melodies created a dream-like feeling – beautiful but haunting – recalling Angelo Badalamenti’s work…' – Hot Press Magazine
released March 27, 2020
All songs written and performed by Perlee (Saramai leech & Cormac O' Keeffe). Recorded by Julie McLarnon at Analogue Catalogue Studios, Newry. Drums/Percussion on tracks 1,3 played and recorded by Matt Ingram at Urchin Studios, London. Drums on track 2 played and recorded by Brendan Fennessy at Big Skin HQ, Cork. Bass on track 2 and textures on tracks 1,2 by A.S. Fanning. Additional Bips and Bops on track 2 by Julie McLarnon.
Tracks 1,2 mixed by A.S. Fanning. Track 3 mixed by Matt Ingram. Track 4 mixed by Julie McLarnon. Mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering, Somerset
Cover photograph by Mattia Stellacci & Lena Hansen.
‘When I saw them, I heard traces of Mazzy Star and Low — if this was dream-pop, it had been weathered through the world-
weariness of slowcore’ Stereogum.
They drove to Berlin from Ireland in the Winter, with a batch of songs and their instruments packed into a van. Having shared stages with Hilary Woods, Steve Gunn, Half Waif and Conor O’Brien, they have recently released their first two singles....more