Duke Special - Songs From The Deep Forest

From the slow piano led lullaby feeling  of opener ‘Wake Up Scarlett’, Belfast’s Peter Wilson showers upon us commanding Aqualung-esque vocals along with flowery and yearning instrumentals (largely provided by himself), to spice up his melancholic tinged poetry:

“Did I steal your sense of wonder, innocence and sight?
  I’m strung up like a highway man who didn’t get it right.
   I feel like I’m falling down.’

The slow and stern piano march of ‘Brixton Leaves’, leads fluently into the strolling and powerful vocals that portray feelings of languish and longing. Before kapppoooowww, the vocals toe the piano sound up to the heavens for a bracing, life enhancing chorus. Echoes of Keane at their most potent permeates ‘Freewheel’, with a clattering backing being introduced for the first time and it helps Wilson to regale us with trouble tackling philosophy. A 60s pop element is oozed out with ease, as you get the impression that the songwriter has regrets about a time he never lived in.

Music as a journey is emphasised with lushness and soul searching craft, each track is a different stop on the route to discovering a genuine and thoughtful soul. ‘No Cover Up’ strolls along and is instilled with Tom McRae style prowess, to propound the view that it is ok to be yourself. The poets amongst us will swim in the sprightly backed ‘Last Night I Nearly Died’, as the bounding piano gives extra force to the endearing plight of someone feeling lost and on the brink. A blues and noire element shudders through the slow building ‘Ballad Of A Broken Man’, complementing the moods and emotions that are thrown into the blender to produce a stirring cocktail.  With forceful, distorted backing vocals and a theatrical element entering the fray through ‘Salvation Tambourine’, along with the pleading plight of ‘This Could Be My Last Day’, the quality rides high until the end.

David Adair

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