Peasant’s single for “The End” is a compelling little teaser. The two unique folk tunes enclosed here (as well as an acoustic version of said single) are intimate yet not overly introspective. It feels like I’m getting a personal performance from Peasant, but it doesn’t feel like he’s moping about, regretting his life (as the work of Elliott Smith, et al, tends toward). The melodies contained in “The End” bring immediate comparisons to the work of Bon Iver, but these melodies are much more confident and much less rickety than Justin Vernon’s contributions. Peasant seems sure of himself on these songs, and that confidence is a rare thing in folk, a world where unsocialized white boys are the gold standard.
The organ and shaker on “Thinking” present a different aspect of Peasant’s sound, while still retaining all of the intimate feel of the first, predominantly guitar, track. The vocals continue to have shades of Bon Iver in them, but it’s the right type of reference; the reference that is pleasing, instead of compelling me elsewhere (there’s no “Man, I’d rather just hear Bon Iver” moment).
This teaser EP closes out with an acoustic version of “The End,” which is just as neat as the full version. It’s clean and strong, more equivalent to Death Cab’s acoustic work (“I Will Follow You Into the Dark”) than other folk artists. This single is much too short, although its impact is long. I’ve been humming “Are you alone tonight?” (the first line of “The End”) for days. Highly recommended.